Never Too Late Basketball's Tips & Tales

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“The Skip Pass”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on July 12, 2006

Little kid basketball players all run at the ball; their parents and aunts and uncles, grown-up neighbors and friends –let’s call them “recreational players” – all cut to and clog the middle. This is what happens, this is what infects our gyms, and this is the bane of the basketball coach. However, we are here to say, if running at the ball and clogging the middle – poor spacing – is the poison, the skip pass is the antidote. (If not available, try the sweet elixir, dribble-reverse.) Of course, every passer, in this instance, “the skip passer”, needs someone to pass to. Here someone, anyone, has to step back when he or she is on the “weak-side”, the side opposite the side that has the ball (“ball side”). If the ball is on the right wing, say, almost to that sideline, be a basketball genius and establish a weak-side presence by stepping back to the sideline opposite the ball. Put both hands up in the air over your head. This 1) gives your teammate – the potential skip passer – a target and 2) draws the defense out of the middle and out toward you because you, with your hands up in the air look like, um, you want the ball. (“Better get out there and guard him.”) Technique to the skip pass? Ball up over your head in two hands, elbows out at 30 degrees, without bringing the ball too far behind your head, snap a pass that does not spin, does not float, apex ten to twelve feet off the ground, and propels heroically to its appointed home. Watch the defense run. Watch the defense tire. Watch the defense lose concentration, the will, the capacity to compete and continue.

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