Curl and Passing Drill

The Curl and Passing Drill looks to bring some high tempo offensive movements together with precision passing. The Curl and Passing Drill has two focus points for the drill. The first element is the offensive curl by the receiver. Many times while on offense, perimeter players fail to put themselves into a good “catching to make a move” position. This means the offensive player once receiving the pass can immediately start to attack to basket. This is the essence of being able to take advantage of specific tactics like quick ball reversal or overloading one side of the floor.


The second element of focus within the Curl and Passing Drill is on passing accuracy. Many times a sloppy pass ends with the receiving player not being able to take advantage of the situation because they have to catch out of position or struggle to control the ball. The Curl and Passing Drill looks to put some pressure on the passer by providing a window through which the ball must travel on its way to the receiver. This will see the passer having to think about not only having the ball reach the receiver as the complete their curl and head back to the basket, but also focus on the accuracy of threading the ball through the widow created by the cones placed on the floor.

Curl and Passing Drill Diagram 1
Curl and Passing Drill Diagram 1

The Curl and Passing Drill starts with two lines of players. The first line is on the baseline and under the basket. This is the receiver’s line.


The second line starts at the top of the keyway. This will be the passers line.


The Curl and Passing Drill starts when the passer (Two) calls out go.


The first baseline player (One) goes towards the foul line extended catching position curling tightly on their inside foot pivoting so they are placed facing they basket when they receive the pass. The inside foot should be flared as much as possible with the toes point towards the passer.


The passer (Two) looks to thread the pass through the window as the receiver starts to turn and face up towards the basket.


Once the receiver (One) catches the ball, they attack the short corner. This area during ball rotation is the hardest to guard and forces the greatest rotation of players to cover positions.


The passer (Two) cuts down the keyway looking to simulate filling a rebounding triangle position.




The receiver has a number of different options once they catch the ball. They can:


  • Catch and shoot
  • Drive towards the short corner for the jump-shot or floater
  • Drive towards the elbow for the jump-shot
  • Drive towards the short corner and pass to the cutting player moving down the split line (Two)


In all situations, the offensive play with the ball can only use one dribble to create the shot. Anything more and the advantage is wasted.


Passes outside the window will have a penalty attached.


The passer (Two) rotates to the baseline position. The receiver (One) rotates to the passing line at the top of the key.

Curl and Passing Drill Diagram 2
Curl and Passing Drill Diagram 2

The next stage of the Curl and Passing Drill sees the opposite side of the floor being utilised for another key catching position during ball reversal in the long corner.


Again, the focus is on both the curl of the receiver and passing accuracy from the top of the point position.


This time the baseline player (Five) runs along the line curling at the last movement to catch the ball outside or on the three-point line. The difference will be determined by the shot selection available to the player. Outside the three-point line for effective long-range shooters and on the three-point line for those players who will need to dribble into range.


The passer (Three) looks to execute the pass through the provided window and then again crash the boards through the keyway.


When catching the ball the receiver will have a few offensive options to choose from:


  • Catch and shoot
  • Catch and drive to the short corner for the jump-shot or floater
  • Catch and drive towards the double block extended for a mid-range jump-shot
  • Catch and drive for the reverse lay-up (two dribbles allowed)
  • Catch and drive (One dribbler) looking for the pass to the cutter (Three); can be either to the short corner or double block extended
  • Catch and drive baseline finishing behind the backboard and making the pass to Three (3)


This attacking position on the floor is a very special one as it can turn the defence around so they are not able to create a flat triangle at pace with the defensive match-up while the ball is dribbled along the baseline.


The Curl and Passing Drill looks to bring some of the more underutilised technical skills and positions on offense to the stage so players learn the depth of opportunity from them and how to execute their advantage.

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Coach Riches has been working within the sport, business and education industries for many years. During this time he has built an extensive number of formal and informal qualifications. A firm believer in training and development designed to help people reach their full potential, relevant o their needs and functional to their industry environment.

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