How To Throw An Overhead Pass In Basketball (3 Step Guide)

Passing a basketball is one of the fundamental skills that every player should have control of. It is the understructure upon which every up-to-mark offense is built. Therefore, the whole team relies on the skills of passing the basketball to score as many points as they can against a fantastic team. One of the passes includes an overhead pass, which is as crucial as other passes in basketball.

An overhead pass in basketball is when the player throws the ball with both hands starting from behind the head and delivering the ball out front. Overhead passes are also used to swing the ball further as compared to the chest and bounce pass. Besides that, an overhead pass is generally applied to pass the ball quickly with a low tack.

How To Throw An Overhead Pass In Basketball

However, if you want to know how to throw an overhead pass in basketball, then this article will lead you towards your goal. This 3 step guide will make you figure out the right situations where you have to use your overhead passing skills. Moreover, you will also recognize the exact techniques that should be applied. Without further ado, let’s begin this 3 step guide.

How To Throw An Overhead Pass In Basketball ( 3 Step Guide)

Step 1

Understand The Right Time To Throw An Overhead Pass

The first step to throw an overhead pass in basketball is basically to understand the right time to use it. This means that the player must know when he/she is about to throw an overhead pass. For this purpose, there are a few scenarios where you have to be careful about the opposite team, and eventually, you will choose this overhead pass over bounce or chest pass. This situation is:

A- When the defender is near you and you don’t have any other option to pass the ball, then you must have to throw the ball directly over the defender’s head. This will be the only option you have to protect the ball from the opponent team. Moreover, this way it will be more convenient for your team players to grab the ball and move further with the game.

B- When you need a long throw down the path, you must have to use the overhead pass to get the ball into the court faster. Henceforth, it increases your chances to score against the opponent team.

C- When you need to skip pass the ball through several defenders of your team, then the overhead pass is your only option. This way you will be able to pass the ball successfully from one side of the court to the other side.

Step 2

Use The Exact Plan of Action/ Technique

The second step involved in throwing an overhead pass in basketball is to use the exact plan of action or techniques. An overhead pass starts with the ball at your chest or above your head. Moreover, you have to move a little forward towards the direction of your other teammate.

Furthermore, press down on the back foot to form enough force to throw a long pass towards your team player. Once you are done taking the position, then you have to step forward and release the ball. Eventually, you will keep moving at pace along with proper techniques to win the game.

Step 3

Throw The Ball Where You Want Your Teammate To Catch It

In this situation, you have to throw an overhead pass where you want your teammate to catch it, rather than where they are standing. This is also one of the techniques you can use to pass the ball successfully to your teammate.

Follow this step, especially when you are being noticed by the opposing team players. Besides that, this step might be difficult for new and younger players but you can learn overhead passes by practicing them regularly during your basketball games.


  • Try to be accurate, aim for your teammate’s chin and chest area
  • Try to use a lot of force when throwing the ball
  • Don’t hold the ball behind your head because it might get stolen
Can you do an overhead pass in basketball?

Yes, you can do an overhead pass in basketball when you have to move the ball from one end of the court to another. It is the most effective pass that can be used during a basketball match. Furthermore, the overhead pass provides various inclinations to the ball. The Overhead pass has more power than the chest and bounce pass in basketball.

What are the types of passes in basketball?

There are basically two main passes in basketball, air pass and bounce pass. Each type of pass comes with its own variations. First is the basic variation that includes chest pass, bounce pass, overhead pass and wrap around pass. While dribble pass, behind-the-back pass, and pick-and-roll pass are included in advanced variations.

How can you improve your passing skills in basketball?

If you are a basketball player and you want to improve your passing skills then you have to practice the game more often. Try to focus on your teammates and follow the right techniques that will allow you to defend the ball. When you get the ball in your hands, try to look towards the basket first, if you find it far away then choose to pass the ball to your teammate that is nearby.

Final Thoughts

Throwing an overhead pass in basketball is easy for young players to perform. All you have to do is practice and keep focusing on the ball. To throw an overhead pass you have to hold the ball with both hands. Henceforth, starting from behind the head and releasing the ball out front. This way you will be able to successfully pass the ball to your teammates.

This article has always been the most awaited for me to write. It has all the personal experiences and easy guidance mentioned for you all to read without any inconvenience. Along with that, this article guides you in the right way to follow these steps and throw an overhead pass like a skilled basketball player. So grab your basketball, go to the court and practice your game!

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