Great passes lead to great shots.  Shooters find ways to get open, but they also rely on their teammates to get them the ball. So, what do all great passers have in common?

  1. Court Vision – Court vision is the ability to see the whole court, not just one part of it.  Make sure you can see your teammates, but also read the defense as well. Where are their eyes? What’s their body position? Can I make this pass without a defender stepping in to make the steal? This takes time and some players just have a knack for it, but it can be practiced as well. Look for seams and passing lanes when you’re out there playing or when you’re watching at home.
  2. Ambidextrous – Practice dribbling with both hands to be able to go any direction and then pass with either hand. Gain strength and repetition in your off hand that you find with your dominant hand. Sometimes, it’s necessary to create better passing angles off the dribble and you can’t be limited by the inability to use one hand or the other.
  3. Placement – Know where your teammates are going to be and hit them at the right time and place. It might be leading your teammate to the rim or putting the ball in your teammate’s shooting pocket to hit a jumper.
  4. Timing – If you miss someone, you miss them. Don’t throw a pass late because it will likely end in a turnover. Know which pass to use and when to use it. It’s also important to use ball fakes and use them in time with the pass you plan on making. This can be difficult when you start using them, but it will improve as you learn which passes to make in certain situations.

Take a look at a few of the best passers to have played the game. Watch how they read the defense, see the opening, and use their skills to get to the best angle to get the ball where it needs to be. Assists from play makers are just as important to the team as scorers.

John Stockton: All-time NBA Assist leader, 15806

Jason Kidd

Steve Nash

Magic Johnson

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