The shoulder pass is a useful high pass performed using one hand. It is direct, and covers longer distances than the chest pass; the height of the pass means that you can elude any pesky defenders standing between you and your fellow team members.
This technique, as with many of the techniques used in netball (and indeed in any sport), will only work effectively if sufficient practice is undertaken; the action should become second nature: thinking about what you’re doing is rarely an option in a game situation.
The ball should rest on the fingertips of the throwing hand – protected until the very last moment by the non-throwing hand. Your elbow should be positioned at right angles to the shoulder.
Your feet should be placed to give you the most power and balance; the foot on the opposite side to your throwing arm might be best placed in front of your body. Bending the knees slightly gives maximum control over your weight distribution, and provides the opportunity to “spring” out of the position once the pass is made.
Fully straighten the throwing arm (and don’t forget to let go with the protecting non-throwing hand – failure to do this will result in frustration), following through with your entire arm, and transferring all weight onto your front foot.
Try to aim as near to vertical as possible: the ball should take the shortest route between you and the receiver, and that is always a straight line.
Keep your eyes on the receiver until the ball is caught, and prepare to make a move to the next useful spot!
Staple skills such as this shoulder pass may seem uncomplicated, but getting them absolutely right – and minimising unforced errors – can mean the difference between an emphatic victory and an ignominious defeat. As always: practice, practice, practice and practice some more.
- Netball (Know The Game) – by All England Netball Association