What Is A Chest Pass In Basketball?


A chest pass is the most utilized pass in basketball.

What is a chest pass in basketball

It´s a pass that is thrown from your chest to the chest of your teammate who is receiving the pass. For youth basketball players it’s important to start throwing this pass with two hands because you will have more control over the basketball, you will be able to throw the ball harder, and you will be able to stop the motion without traveling your teammate is not wide open anymore.

However, as the player progresses in age and skill level this pass will be thrown a lot with one hand. So it’s important that if you are practicing the chest pass, you are throwing the passes with both one and two hands. The reason for a one handed chest pass is that one hand becomes a quicker pass, becoming more important the higher level of basketball that you play. 


With chest passes that are thrown with two hands, you will typically have two different ways of throwing the pass. 


The first option is to have the hands evenly spaced out on the sides of the basketball. Put the ball directly in front of your chest and turn your hands so that your thumb and pointer finger are on the side of the ball closest to you.

Depending on hand size the other 3 fingers should be near the top, or at least approaching the top if you have smaller hands.

Throw or Pass

Now that we have the grip down we are going to talk about the motion of actually throwing it. When you throw, or pass, the ball you will want to aggressively push that ball towards your teammatea.

As you are passing the ball towards your teammate you will also want to step forward with one of your feet (the foot doesn’t matter that much so try and pass equally with both feet stepping forward).

In the motion with your upper body,  you will want to snap your wrist outwards as hard as possible to help get some more speed on the pass. When you are finished with your pass, your hands should both be facing away from each other (left palm facing left, and right palm facing right), your thumbs should be pointed down towards the ground, and your fingers are in a straight line pointing at your target. 

The second option is going to be a little different than the first, and I will explain it as if the passer is right handed. In this option you are going to be strong hand dominant.

Strong Hand Dominant Pass

Start with the ball at your chest, move it slightly off centered to the right side of your body.

You will then get your right hand directly behind the ball. All 5 fingers behind, with the palm facing your target/teammate. This will lock your wrist into place, with your elbow behind your body. Your left hand will be like your guide hand when you are shooting.

Directly on the side with the palm of your left hand facing right. Once you are in this position you will throw the pass much like the first option. You will have an aggressive snap of your elbow towards your target, as you are passing the ball you will also want to have a strong flick of your wrist to help the ball speed.

As you are throwing it your left hand will just be there to guide the ball to your target, and you will step with one of your feet towards the target.

One Handed Chest Pass

Now that we’ve gone over chest passes with two hands, we will go over the one handed pass. But since we’ve gone over both options with two hands, going over the one handed option will be very easy. 

When throwing a one handed chest pass it will look EXACTLY like the second option from above. The only difference is that you will be removing that guide hand.

So you will still get the ball to the same pocket on your right side. You will still get your whole hand behind the ball. And you will still snap your elbow and wrist, and also step towards the target with your ball side foot. 


Although the chest pass is the most commonly used pass in basketball, and also the safest. There are some other chest passes that are used in basketball, some are advanced passes and others basic passes, but we will talk about them all at a different time. 

  • Over the head skip pass
  • Overhead Pass
  • Behind the back (bounce and wrap)
  • Bounce Pass
  • Stockton Pass (passes to post players)
  • Hook Pass
  • Over the top Hook pass

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