4 Simple Basketball Layup Drills

As today’s scoring in basketball mostly comes from long-range shots, many players may have neglected the importance of layup, which is actually the most effective and easiest way to score.

Although many of you may think that training your layup is boring and useless, it is a skill that requires a lot of hard work if you want to master it. Take Kyrie Irving, one of the best finishers in the NBA, as an example. When he was young, he always uses hours and hours to practice finishing under the rim with different spins at different angles, which is the reason why he’s become an unstoppable finisher.

Today, I’m going to walk you through 4 simple basketball layup drills that will improve your finishing around the rim.

How to Shoot a Layup

Every basketball player should master two ways of shooting a layup:

  • The first basic way is to hit the square’s corner of the backboard, most people only use this way to finish because it has the highest accuracy.
  • The second way is a little more advanced, which is to finish high off the backboard. By doing so, you shot won’t be blocked even if your opponent is super athletic. This is more important for college or professional players since there will be seven-foot centers that are trying to block your shot off the backboard.

 

Basketball Layup Drills

1. Mikan Drill

The Mikan drill is a basic drill to make layups under the basket while alternating sides. It has 3 variations, which is designed to improve the feel around the basket as well as coordination.

Try to make 10 consecutive layups for each set until you move to the next variation.

Purpose:

This drill is best suitable for power forwards and centers who need to equipped with great finishing skills under the rim.

  • Regular Layup

1. Start on the left side facing the backboard.

2. Shoot a regular layup.

3. Grab your rebound and switch to the right side.

4. Make 10 layups on each side alternatively to finish each set.

5. Try to finish at least 2 – 3 sets.

  • Reverse Layup

1. Start on the left side facing towards the back of the backboard.

2. Shoot a reverse layup.

3. Grab your rebound and switch to the right side.

4. Make 10 reverse layups on each side to finish each set.

5. Try to finish at least 2 – 3 sets.

  • Hook shot

1. Start on the left side facing the backboard.

2. Shoot a hook shot over the top of your head.

3. Grab your rebound and switch to the right side.

4. Make 10 hook shot on each side to finish each set.

5. Try to finish at least 2 – 3 sets.

Point of Emphasis:

The hook shot is a great move for smaller guards to score against taller defenders.

2. Overhand Layup Drill

Purpose:

The overhand layup has 2 variations. It’s like the mikan regular layup drill and is used when you are closed to the basket and don’t have enough space to perform an underhand layup. However, it is prone to get blocked by the defender.

You can shoot a floater instead if you’re playing against a taller defender.

First Variation:

1. Start on the left side of the free-throw line.

2. Take one dribble with your left hand and shoot an overhand layup.

3. Grab your rebound and switch to the right side.

4. Make 10 layups on each side to finish each set.

5. Try to finish at least 2 – 3 sets.

Second Variation:

1. Start on the left side of the half-court line.

2. Take as few dribbles as possible with your left hand at full speed and finish with an overhand layup.

3. Grab your rebound and switch to the right side.

4. Make 10 layups on each side to finish each set.

5. Try to finish at least 2 – 3 sets.

Points of Emphasis:

Practice both floaters and regular layups alternatively so that you can utilize it in real games based on how the defender guards you.

3. Underhand Layup Drill

Purpose:

The underhand layup also has 2 variations, it is the best used when you are attacking at a fast speed and driving towards the basket with a smooth motion.

Underhand Layup

First Variation:

1. Start on the left side of the free-throw line.

2. Take one dribble with your left hand and shoot an underhand layup.

3. Once you reach the highest point of your jump and fully extend your arm, release the ball by slightly flicking your wrist.

4. Grab your rebound and switch to the right side.

5. Make 10 layups on each side to finish each set.

6. Try to finish at least 2 – 3 sets.

Second Variation:

1. Start on the left side of the half-court line.

2. Take as few dribbles as possible with your left hand at full speed and finish with an underhand layup.

3. Grab your rebound and switch to the right side.

4. Make 10 layups on each side to finish each set.

5. Try to finish at least 2 – 3 sets.

Points of Emphasis:

Don’t fling the ball with your whole arm, release the ball softly by only flicking your wrist.

Instead of jumping forward, jump upward and try to land near the same spot where you take off in order to

4. One Dribble Layup Drill

Purpose:

This drill has 3 variations, which is used to create space between you and your defender or get past them in order to finish a layup uncontested.

Euro Step Layup:

 

This move is used to catch your defender off guard and get past them in the opposite direction.

1. Start on the left-wing of the three-point line.

2. Take one dribble with your left hand towards the basket.

3. Pick up your dribble as you plant your left foot just like you’re going for a regular layup.

4. Push off with your left foot and plant your right foot away from your defender.

5. Fully extend your arm and finish under the rim so that he won’t be able to block it.

6. Make 10 layups on each side to finish each set.

7. Try to finish at least 2 – 3 sets.

Points of Emphasis:

Don’t pick up the dribble before you plant your first step or you will get called for traveling.

Hop Step Layup:

This move is similar to a euro step but land on both feet.

1. Start on the left-wing of the three-point line.

2. Take one dribble with your left hand towards the basket.

3. Use a power dribble as you plant your left foot just like you’re going strong for a regular layup.

4. Push off with your left foot and jump away from your defender.

5. Establish a strong landing stance with both feet simultaneously.

6. Make 10 layups on each side to finish each set.

7. Try to finish at least 2 – 3 sets.

Points of Emphasis:

Landing on both feet allows  you to pivot with either foot and prevent you from getting a travel call.

Spin Move Layup:

This move is used to get around your defender while moving towards the basket.

1. Start on the left wing of the three point line.

2. Take one dribble with your left hand towards the basket.

3. Use a power dribble as you plant your left foot between your defender’s feet.

4. Spin and step around your defender with your right foot.

5. After the spin, face directly towards the basket and finish the layup.

6. Make 10 layups on each side to finish each set.

7. Try to finish at least 2 – 3 sets.

Points of Emphasis:

Stay low and keep full control of your body while spinning in order to maintain balance.

Conclusion

Finishing around the rim is a skill that requires a great deal of effort that every basketball player should be equipped with. Implement these drills into your training and you will see quick results in no time.

If you have any questions, please let me know and I’m happy to help you out.

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