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- Three Skills Every Guard Needs by Derek Brown
- 5 Strength Training & Plyometric Drills to Improve Rebounding by Alli Williams
- Tips for Running and Handling the Ball in Transition by Brandon Ogle
- The Art of the Outlet Pass by Frank Kilinski
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- 4 Tricky Basketball Moves That'll Keep You On Your Toes by Fran Kilinski
- Communication Between Coaches and Players by Kyle Ohman
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- My Failure as a Coach by Tom Kelsey
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The Art of The Outlet Pass
You’ve seen the best players in the NBA make some of their most exciting plays on
the fast break. Whether it’s Kevin Love to Lebron, Durant to Westbrook, or Steph
Curry pulling up from three with a few defenders back, they’re always set up to
make the best play possible in transition.
Sometimes, what sets these star players up for easy baskets is a crafty, perfectly
timed pass from a teammate who’s aware of his other teammates’ position. I’m
talking about the outlet pass; whether it’s that heave up-court or the series of passes
that leads to the basket, the best way to advance the ball off a miss has always been
the outlet pass.
If you want to be the player responsible for a flashy play and want to know how to
find your teammate for the outlet, make sure you work these little details into your
game with your teammates:
The best way to know where your teammates are on the floor at all times is to
simply talk to each other! Establish a chemistry with your teammates that allows
you to understand their tendencies. In this case, be communicative with the
teammate(s) who will find ways to leak out for a fast break off of a quick miss.
Have your teammate yell “outlet!” or even “hey!” so that you or a teammate who
gets a rebound can set them up with a good lead pass; if they can’t make the pass,
become the outlet man, and call for the ball yourself so that you can put yourself or
your teammates in a position to score on the break.
Read And React
Basketball as a whole is a read-and-react sport, and starting a fast break requires a
certain degree of analyzing the floor ahead of you to make the best decision. You
might want to make a flashy play, but first you’ll need the floor to open up and just a
bit of luck to make that play.
If you’re about to run in transition, see if defenders are running back to stop the
play, and see if you’re outnumbering the defense before you make a pass. The less
defenders you have on the break, the easier it is to throw a pass ahead and let your
teammates handle the rest of the work scoring.
Some choose to be deceptive with the dribble, or even the no-look pass when
running the break. Whatever method you choose, be sure that you’re going to put
your teammate in a position to score and not turn the ball over trying to be too
Make A Smart, Well-Timed Lead Pass
If you’re going to toss a touchdown-like pass to a teammate streaking down the
floor, and there’s no defender ahead of your teammate, you need to make sure you
hit that teammate in stride so that you aren’t slowing their momentum.
The basic outlet pass involves coming to the ball, but if a teammate has the open
floor ahead of them, it’s alright to pass to them as they run from the ball, as long as
you’re not throwing it behind them and giving a defender the time to catch them on
Know your teammate’s speed and time the pass so that they can finish as quickly as
possible. Always make sure you have a clear look at your teammate and don’t
telegraph a pass that a defender can bat down before it gets to your teammate.
With the all the excitement that comes from a fast break in basketball, a lot of time
the credit goes to the passer who gets the rebound or forces a turnover to make the
break possible. You’ll normally see teammates point to each other as a means of
gratitude for a great outlet pass. Be the teammate that gets that positive point and
make a great outlet pass!