The one-handed shoulder pass is generally a long, straight pass, and is great for covering distance. When performed well, it can elude any pesky defenders standing in between you and your fellow team members, and can get the ball to your shooting end with speed. While the technique may seem uncomplicated, getting it absolutely right can help to minimise unforced errors and, ultimately, lead to a better performance on court.
For power and control, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees for maximum control and to allow your body to ‘spring’ up after the pass. Cradle the ball in your throwing hand, resting it on your fingertips.
Take your hand with the ball back, at shoulder height, past your body. Step forward with your opposite foot. Rotate your hips as you whip the ball through, bringing your weight forward onto your front foot and fully extending your throwing arm. Keep your eye on the target, using your shoulder, elbow, wrist and fingers to direct the pass. The pass should be hard, fast and direct.
With a partner, in a grid space, practice:
• 10 throws with your right hand
• 10 throws with your left hand
Encourage children to:
• throw the ball as they would a tennis ball
• step onto the foot on the opposite side of their body to the throwing arm
• step towards the catcher as they throw.
Karen Byers, Sportsmart