Free Basketball Passing Drills

The Basketball Passing Drills below are designed to help players improve their skill level at this very important aspect of the game. Have you ever noticed how passing is often the most overlooked and least practiced skill of basketball?

Players and coaches usually spend most of their time practicing the offensive skills that are more fun and exciting - like dribbling and shooting. Obviously passing is just as important as these skills, but it is indeed often overlooked during practices.

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For a team to be successful, players must develop their basketball passing and catching skills. There is nothing more important to team success than good passing!

In order to become effective and efficient at passing, players need to practice a variety of basketball passing drills. By doing this, they will not only become better at passing the basketball - they will also be helping their team become more successful on the offensive end of the court.

By learning and understanding these basketball passing drills...

  • Players will become effective at passing and catching the basketball. They will be more aware of the importance of good passing. They will also have a better understanding of the various passes used.

  • Parents will have a better understanding of the passes used during the game of basketball. They will have the ability to help their child practice and succeed with these various passes.

  • Coaches will be able to teach their players the skills needed to be effective and efficient passers. They will be able to show their players the importance of good team passing.

Basketball Passing Drills

Basketball Passing Drill #1: Rapid-Fire Drill

Description - This drill is great to use during practice, or for players to do on their own.

Instructions - The players will stand about three feet from a wall. They will throw hard chest passes against the wall in a rapid-fire pattern.

As the players are passing the ball, they should back up gradually until they are about 10 - 15 feet away from the wall. The players will continue passing the ball and gradually move forward until they are about three feet from the wall.

Players - 1 or Entire Team.

Tips - The players should begin making about twenty-five passes as they move backward and forward and then work their way up to fifty passes.

Variations - The players can use other passes (overhead, bounce, etc…) for this drill.

Skills - Passing, Catching, & Eye-Hand Coordination.

Basketball Passing Drill #2: 5-On-5 No Dribble Drill

Description - This is a great drill for working against a full-court press and tough man-to-man defense.

Instructions - The offensive and defensive teams will play a 5-on-5 full-court game. The offensive team will not be allowed to dribble the basketball.

Players - 10.

Tips - The players should focus on moving and cutting to get open, coming to meet the pass, looking up court for an open teammate, using quick and accurate passes, setting and using screens, aggressively attacking the basket, and also proper floor spacing.

Variations - This can also be a half-court drill.

Skills - Moving Without The Ball, Cutting, Screening, Passing, Catching, Driving To The Basket, Court Vision, and Floor Spacing.

Basketball Passing Drill #3: 2-On-8 Press Drill

Description - Players will find a partner - if possible, have a forward and a guard in each group. There will be five groups of two for this drill.

The first two players will attempt to inbound the basketball from the baseline.

The other eight players (4 groups of 2) will play defense in the following areas:

  • 2 from the baseline to the foul line extended (denying inbound pass).

  • 2 from the foul line extended to half court.

  • 2 from half court to the foul line extended at the opposite end of the court.

  • 2 from the foul line extended to the basket at the opposite end of the court.

Instructions - The partners will attempt to move the basketball up the court to score at the opposite basket. Each group of 2 defenders will play tough man-to-man defense once the ball handlers reach their area. Once the ball handlers leave the previous area, those defenders drop out. Defenders should try to double team the ball handler whenever possible.

Players - At Least 10.

Tips - The offensive players should catch the basketball in a triple threat position. They should not dribble the ball until they look to see if their partner is open.

The player without the basketball should use various cuts to get open to receive the ball ahead of their partner - and in the middle of the court whenever possible.

Variations - To make this drill even more challenging, limit the number of dribbles allowed - or do not let the offensive players dribble at all.

Skills - Passing, Catching, Cutting, Press Break, & Man Defense.

Basketball Passing Drill #4: Star Drill

Description - This is a good drill to use as a warm-up - either at the beginning of practice or before a game.

Instructions - Players should form 5 lines in the shape of a star on the court. One player will start with the basketball and make a pass to the player across from them. The player that receives the pass will then make a pass to the player to the right of the original passer. The players continue passing in this manner for 3 -5 minutes.

Players - 5 or Entire Team.

Tips - The players must always pass to the player on the right of their passer.

Variations - The players can follow their pass and run to the end of their receiver's line. To do this, they should pass and then move quickly across the star to the opposite line they passed to. Players can also use various passes (overhead, bounce, etc…) for this drill.

Skills - Passing, Catching, & Eye-Hand Coordination.


I hope you found these Basketball Passing Drills to be helpful and informative. Remember passing is the most important fundamental skill needed for team success. Good passing leads to getting good shots and easy baskets.

In addition to these drills, please check out our youth basketball tips page for more great advice on the game of basketball.

Enjoy and best of luck!

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