How to Throw a Basketball Chest Pass Properly

STACK Expert Quinn McDowell explains how to throw a chest pass in basketball.

If you want to get lots of playing time in basketball, get  serious about working on your passing game. The basketball chest pass is the most basic pass, so let's start there.

There are two basic types of chest passes, two-handed and one-handed.

Two-Handed Chest Pass

This pass is primarily used when players are not tightly guarded by a defender. To throw it, start with the ball at your chest and step toward your teammate. As you step, fling the ball to your teammate by extending your arms away from your chest and flicking your wrist so your thumbs point down and your palms face out. When you throw a chest pass, you want the ball to fly through the air on a line to that your teammate can catch it at chest level.

One-Handed Chest Pass

This is probably used more commonly than the two-handed version because it's so versatile. You can feed the post, swing the ball around the perimeter, or throw a backdoor pass to a cutting teammate. Also, when a defender is closely guarding you, it's difficult to throw a two-handed chest pass. Better to use your body to shield the ball from your defender while you use your opposite hand to throw the pass.

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To get you on your way to mastery, here are some tips:

Pass with your feet

Pass with your feet

Most of your passes should be completed by stepping toward your intended target. For basic passes like the two-handed chest pass, you want to step toward your target so the flight of the ball follows the direction of your foot. The ability to step around defenders is also crucial.

Pass with your wrists

Pass with your wrists

Great passers throw crisp passes by using their wrists to fling the ball toward their target. The easiest way to throw passes with good velocity is to flick your wrists so your thumbs point down. Many turnovers occur because a player throws a soft or lob pass, which gives a defender extra time to run for the ball and intercept the pass. Unless you are throwing a lob pass to a low-post player, you want the ball to get to your target as quickly as possible.

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Pass with your eyes

Pass with your eyes

Great passers move the defense with their eyes to avoid committing needless turnovers. If a player is wide open, faking a defender out with your eyes is not important. However, if you are throwing the ball to a closely guarded teammate, you want to use your eyes to make the defender think you are passing the ball in a different direction. This point is especially relevant when playing against zone defenses.


STACK's 2015 Summer Training Guide: Basketball

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