How to Make Chest Pass and Bounce Pass

The chest pass and bounce pass are two of the most common passes in basketball. Their mastery demands plenty of practice but the rewards are well worth it. When you know how to make the chest pass and bounce pass, you’re a better player.

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General Tips for Chest and Bounce Passes

When learning both types of passes, you should remember these general tips.

  • Always identify your target receiver before making the pass. You should make make a signal so that the receiver will be alerted to your intent.
  • Go for the easy pass. Your teammate should catch it instead of letting the opposing team’s player steal it. You must remember that many turnovers happen because amateurs used trick passes.
  • Step toward the receiver when you’re passing the ball. This is also true when catching – you step toward the pass.
  • Place a backspin to the ball when passing. You can do this by following through on the pass.
basketball pass

Your chest and bounce passes will be more effective with these passing fundamentals.

Making the Chest Pass

The chest pass originates from the chest, thus, its name. There are two types of chest passes:

  • The two-handed chest pass is used when an easy pass is possible. Your teammate isn’t tightly guarded by the opposing team’s defender.
  • The one-handed chest pass is more popular because of its versatility. This is suitable when swinging the ball around the perimeter, feeding the post, and throwing a backdoor pass. This is also great when you’re being closely guarded by a defender.

In both types of chest passes, the following general guidelines apply.

  • Hold the ball close to your chest. Your body should be in the triple-threat position. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  • Place your dominant hand on top of the ball. Your fingers should be evenly spread apart while your fingertips grip the ball. Your off hand must be to the side and your elbows tucked into your body.
  • hand-o-right
    Take a step toward your target’s direction. Step forward with your dominant foot. Push off with your non-dominant foot to generate momentum.

Note: You can step off with either foot. Just make sure that you can deliver a clean and crisp chest pass by stepping forward.

  • Extend your arms fully before passing the ball. As your arms are extending, you have to follow through on the pass. This means thrusting your arms and snapping your wrists.
  • Your pinkies should be pointing upwards while your thumbs are pointing downwards. Your palms should be facing outward (i.e., the backs of your hands are facing each other).

Always be sure to aim for your receiver’s chest for accurate results. This way, your teammate can make a quick move with the ball after catching the pass.You must also lead your target receiver when he’s on the move.

chest pass

Your chest pass should allow him to catch it while in stride yet still continue moving. The chest pass’ biggest advantage lies in its effective delivery while in motion. When making the chest pass, you should also pass with your feet, wrists and eyes. Here’s how it works.

  • Passing with your feet is crucial. The ball’s flight should follow your dominant foot’s direction. Your target receiver will then have better chances of catching it. You can also step around the defenders by doing so.
  • Passing with your wrists is important, too. Your wrists should fling the ball toward your receiver. You have to snap your wrists so that the pass has good velocity. If you throw a lob or soft pass, you’re giving defenders extra time to intercept your pass.
  • hand-o-right
    Passing with your eyes reduces the risks of committing turnovers. You have to move the defense with your eyes! You want the defender to think that you’re passing the ball in a different direction.

Your chest pass should allow him to catch it while in stride yet still continue moving. The chest pass’ biggest advantage lies in its effective delivery while in motion. When making the chest pass, you should also pass with your feet, wrists and eyes. Here’s how it works.

Of course, when your teammate is wide open, you don’t have to fake out defenders with your eyes. You just make eye contact with your receiver and pass the ball. You must obviously practice making chest passes with one or two of your teammates.

Making the Bounce Pass

The bounce pass is like the chest pass but with a difference. Instead of aiming for the receiver’s chest, the pass is aimed at the floor (i.e., bounces off the floor). Be sure to throw the ball far enough so that it bounces waist-high to your target receiver.

Many coaches say the ball should be thrown three-fourths of the way to the receiver. This a good reference point but you can experiment with the distance.

The more important thing is putting the correct and consistent backspin on the pass. The bounce isn’t as commonly used as the chest pass.

But it has its uses, too, such as when used by smaller players during games. You can make a pass to your teammate around, underneath, or over the longer arms of taller players. The steps for making the bounce pass is as follows:

  • Hold the ball in a similar manner as when making a chest pass.
  • Step with your lead foot (i.e., non-pivot foot).
  • Pass the ball to your receiver using a popping or snapping action of your wrists.
  • Finish the pass with your hands out. Your thumbs should be pointing in and down.
bounce pass

The ball should hit the floor approximately three-quarters of the distance from your mark. Your receiver can catch it at his waist. Keep in mind that speed matters in the bounce pass, too.

The ball should skip and pop into your receiver’s hands. You have to avoid the “plop” in making your passes.

Final Words

The chest pass and bounce pass are two of the basic passes that every basketball player must master. When you have mastered it, you can advance to the baseball pass, behind-the-back pass, and pick-and-roll pass.

Like everything else in basketball, the mastery of passes demands hours of intense practice. You have to build muscle memory and develop your skills on and off the court. Your professional career may well depend on it.

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