To be a great passer, you have to think like a scorer. The best passers think score first, and it’s something you really have to instill in your players.

It seems counterintuitive, but it actually makes a lot of sense. Players who drive to pass are usually pretty easy to read. Players who drive to score draw the help and open up passing lanes to their teammates.

Great passers are obviously unselfish, and thinking score first does not mean you have to be selfish. It actually helps you be unselfish. Thinking score first puts a lot more pressure on the defense and creates more opportunities.

The best passers I’ve ever coached are scoring threats. You can be a scoring threat and also be unselfish. If the defense can play you as a passer you are going to have a hard time finding open teammates. They are going to close those lanes down and dare you to score. You see a lot of turnovers on penetration and on the fast break when a player knows they are going to pass the ball, and they aren’t a threat to score.

Great passers have to think score. Convince your players to think score first when they get into the paint, and they’ll become better passers.

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