Push Pull Passing Drill

The Push Pull Passing Drill is a really nice simple activity which helps players with their passing and conditioning. Many passing drills are often so structured they are little value outside of the fundamental performance of the technique. The Push Pull Passing Drill is different though, it asks players to perform the pass on the move and at pace. Once the activity has started and number of repetitions have been made the physicality of the Push Pull Passing Drill will also come into play and the added benefit of conditioning players will also be seen within the drills parameters.

Push Pull Passing Drill Diagram 1
Push Pull Passing Drill Diagram 1

The Push Pull Passing Drill starts with players paired up. To begin with, start the Push Pull Passing Drill in the half-court. One player starts on halfway and the other player on the baseline. Players are lined up facing one another.


Either group of players can start with the ball, but in the diagram above the players on halfway have the basketballs to start with.


The players with the ball start by dribbling at pace until they are in line with the foul line. Once reaching this point players make a pass to their partner on the baseline.


Once the pass is made the passer then retreats back to the halfway line. There are two options here. Either this player can move back to halfway by running backwards or turn and run.


Once the player on the baseline catches the pass they are then allowed to start dribbling. The objective for this player is to reach and foul line and initiate the pass so that the retreating player has to catch the ball before moving behind the halfway line.


The pattern continues until one player has to catch the basketball prior to reaching the halfway or baseline.


A variety of passes can be used, but the drill works best with a chest pass.


Penalties and player rotations can happen until you have a winner overall to make the drill just that much more competitive.


Key Teaching Points


  • The pass must not take the ball any higher than the head of the players. Hard and flat passes are the desired outcome of perfecting the technique.
  • Players must use their momentum to help make the pass.
  • The ball should be released from a players hands just before their lead foot hits the ground when they reach their desired passing point; this will allow for maximum power
  • Players should follow through with their arms and hands, finishing with both sets of fingers pointing at their target
Push Pull Passing Drill Diagram 2
Push Pull Passing Drill Diagram 2


The Push Pull Passing Drill can also be extended into the full court. This scenario because of the distance adds further challenge to the distance of the pass and the fitness level required.


In this variation of the Push Pull Passing Drill the players are simply dribbling to the halfway line before trying to make the pass and then retreat back to their respective baseline.


Point of Note


  • Chest, Push, Baseball, and Over Head passes should not touch the court at any stage
  • Bounce passes should only bounce once


The Push Pull Passing Drill is suitable for both junior and senior players. Remember with these types of activities they can be used after a warm-up as a way of having the team complete some conditioning so they then have to perform under fatigue conditions.

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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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