A lot of players go through many stages of development as they hone their skills on the court. One of the earliest problems that they encounter is the old to pass, or to shoot issue. There simply is no easy answer to this question. Every situation on the court differs, and cannot be remedied by any simple answer.

As a player, part of your development is instinct based. Part of it is skill driven. You will learn over time that together skill and instinct will blend to become a well oiled playing machine, but until you’ve had years of practice in both the mental and physical aspects of the game, you will make mistakes. The best players learn from their mistakes and simply move on. While no one is perfect, and no one can ever make the perfect call 100% of the time, eventually you as a player will realize you will make mistakes.

Passing can come down to a few factors, and these factors, and while to some people it comes easy, others it doesn’t. You will have to get to know your team, and know your teammates strengths and weaknesses. In learning and knowing these things, you will be able to better evaluate on the fly if a pass would be best, if a shot is possible, or if holding onto the ball for a few more moments is smarter.

One thing that players need to beware of is their patterns. If an opposing coach or player is paying enough attention, they may be able to learn and watch for your tendencies in certain situations, and respond accordingly. Sometimes if you find yourself unsure of what is the best response, the best response is just going with your gut, and if your gut is a bit predictable, than just throw a pass around. Make sure it can be a good pass, don’t just go throwing the ball randomly around, and costing your team the ball. Just be spontaneous on occasion and keep the opposition guessing. The moment that you become predictable and easy to read is the very moment that you can end up handing the opposing team the win without even realizing you are doing it.

One way to work with your team on spur of the moment passing drills is to meet after practice or outside of practice with 2 or 3 other players and just work on your passing. Just getting out there and working on something this simple will go a long way in helping the in game aspects just come to you by instinct. When you have to second guess yourself and think about what to do, you end up costing yourself a precious few seconds that can allow the other team to get the upper hand.

Once you spend enough time on the court, you will learn when it is best to pass, when it is best to attempt a shot, and when it is just best to do something spur of the moment to throw the other team off!

Photo credit: battlecreekcvb

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