Drill: Pressure Passing

The best drills work multiple aspects of a player’s game. Even if with a basic passing drill, other skills that can be developed at the same time. Maybe you want to work on player footwork. Or communication with teammates. Or making deceptive moves. Or taking a first-step and dribble.

As coaches, we often like the idea of exercises and drills that are more complicated, require unconventional equipment, or demand a lot of focus from players. But often with beginner players, simpler is better. Establishing good fundamentals isn’t just about training hard, it’s about training smart.

Pressure Passing is a great example of a drill that is both simple and adaptable – in a number of ways. Consider it a “base drill” that is easily to implement regardless of skill level, and just as easy to adapt to introduce additional skill sets while continuing to develop passing against a defender.

The distance of the players from each other may vary according to their age group. Instruct to players not to pass the ball right away. 2-3 pivot movements/pass fakes are optimal before actually passing the ball to your partner.

Pressure Passing

DESCRIPTION Divide into groups of 3, lined up horizontally on the court. The 2 players on the outside pass to each other, while the inside player will pressure the player with the ball (not the receiver). Players should use pass fakes and pivot movements to avoid the defender, while the receiver remains in position. If a player looses the ball (either on the pass or catch) they switch spots with the defender.
SKILL FOCUS Passing, On-Ball Defense
AGE (STAGE) Ages 8+ ( Learn-to-Train)
PLAYERS 3 per group
EQUIPMENT 1 basketball per group
As players become comfortable with the drill, consider adding new skills to the drill. Example include dribbling (passer is allowed to take one dribble), off-ball movement (receiver is allowed to move to get open), or even adding a second defender (on the receiver).


Let us know about your favourite “base drills” that can develop multiple skills in the comments below !

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