Hall of Fame Coach Don Meyer on Passing and Catching

Passing & Receiving Ideas

from Don Meyer

    • There aren’t many great passers anymore. Most perimeter players are able to dribble, and some can shoot, but not many can pass. It is quickly becoming a lost art.


    • Great passing teams are happy teams.


    • Players must understand who they are passing to and the current situation. It does no good to throw a pass to a great 3-point shooter inside the 3-point arc, and it does no good to pass to a post man that can’t dribble on the break when he will have to put the ball on the floor to get to the rim.


    • The bounce pass is used in tight quarters (penetrating guard using the bounce pass to the post) and can be used on cuts to the rim (example: back cut on the wing). We don’t want any bounce passes on the perimeter, and a general rule of thumb is no bounce passes anytime the player is moving away from the basket.


    • We like to use the chest pass in the open court (transition) or when our guards are spaced on the perimeter (much quicker than the one-handed flick pass). The legs must be used for velocity.


    • We tell our players that if they can’t successfully make solid, catchable passes to the post, they can’t play. We work on post feeds a lot. On the baseline post feed, we want our players to dribble down to get the proper angle, and then we teach our players to step across with the inside foot to shield the pass from their defender (one of the only times we violate our concept of permanent pivot foot)


    • On all bounce passes (including post feeds), we want the ball to hit 2/3 of the distance from the passer to the receiver. We also want the passer to turn the wrist from inwards to outwards so that the ball digs into the floor and spins into the receiver.


    • On all catches, we want the following: “Ball in the Air, Feet in the Air” so that we can catch with two feet and then use our permanent pivot foot.


    • On all catches, we want the receiver to meet the ball (shorten the pass). Most passes are intercepted when the receiver doesn’t shorten the pass, allowing the defense to shoot through the passing lane.


  • “Every pass is a shot” Perimeters must believe that their pass will lead to the success or failure of the shot. A good pass in the shooting pocket will lead to a rhythm shot, whereas a pass too low or too high will get the shooter out of his rhythm, and may take the shot opportunity away (defense has time to react).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *