Basketball Drills - Lay-up DrillsBy Dr. James Gels, from the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook
Here are several lay-up drills beginning with the old simple 2-line lay-up drill, a 3-line drill (a good pre-game warm-up drill), and several full-court dribble lay-up drills that also help with conditioning and speed-dribbling. Be sure to see the 2-minute drill (one of our favorites). For correct lay-up technique and footwork, see: Lay-ups
2-Line Layup DrillThis classic drill has been around since basketball was invented, and is still a good drill for practicing lay-ups, both right and left-handed. See the diagram. There are two lines, a "shooting" line and a "rebounding" line.
The drill starts with the first shooter dribbling in and shooting the lay-up, while the first rebounder rebounds and passes to the next shooter cutting toward the basket. The shooter goes to the rebounding line and the rebounder goes to the shooting line.
After a few minutes, switch sides so that now the left line is the shooting line (for shooting left-handed lay-ups). As an option, run the drill with two balls. In addition to standard right and left-handed lay-ups, also get some reps on both sides doing reverse lay-ups.
- Dribble with the left hand for left-handed lay-ups, and the right hand for right-handed lay-ups.
- Passes should be bounce passes.
- Make sure players are using correct footwork and technique. See Lay-up.
- Make sure the two lines start well outside of the arc... if the lines are too close to the basket, there is little running and the drill tends to drag. Players should run this drill at game speed.
- You can make a team competition out of it by requiring the team to make a certain number of lay-ups within two-minutes. If they fail, everyone does 5 or 10 push-ups. Making it competitive will force players to run the drill up-tempo, but make sure they don't "cheat" by allowing the lines to come in too close.
3-Line Layup DrillThis drill helps improve players' passing, cutting, receiving and ability to make lay-ups. You can use it as a pre-game warm-up drill.
A few players line up at the top of the key, one player in the right corner, and the rest of the players line up at half-court near the right sideline. Use two balls as seen in the diagram.
Player #1 passes to player #2 and cuts down the right sideline, then makes sharp cut to the basket. Player #2 passes the ball back to #1 who shoots a lay-up (see diagram A). After shooting, #1 goes to the top-of-the-key line.
Player #2 rebounds the shot and passes to player #4 in the corner. Player #2 then follows the pass and goes to the corner. Player #4 passes to the next player in line, and follows the pass, going to the end of half-court line. Run this drill for both right and left handed lay-ups.
You can vary this drill by having the shooting line shoot jump shots, or reverse lay-ups. You can also make another variation… pass it into the high post, and have the high post player take a shot or make a step hop move, while the original passing lane now gets the rebound and makes the outlet.
2-Minute Full-Court Left-Hand Lay-up Drill
This is a favorite drill that we often run at the end of practice. It helps us with our left-handed lay-ups, left-handed dribble and conditioning. It is a competitive drill where the team has to make a certain number of left-handed lay-ups within 2 minutes. We use 75 for high school boys varsity and 65 for girls varsity. If they fail to make the goal, they run or do push-ups.
Half of the players are on each end of the court with the just first two players in each line having a ball. With only two balls on each end, this is a much more difficult goal to make than if every player has a ball.
On "Go!" the first two players from each end start the left-handed speed dribble and shoot the left-handed lay-up. The next player on that end gets the rebound and speed dribbles up the other side. Players must speed dribble quickly and make most of their lay-ups to achieve the goal.
If the team fails to make the goal, they run or do push-ups. If we have had a good practice with good effort, we give them a "second chance" by allowing everyone a chance to make a half-court shot. If just one player makes it, nobody has to run and instead they should celebrate as a team mobbing the shooter with lots of "high-5's" ... it's a fun thing and a good way to end practice on a positive note.
Variation #1, Adding a Dribble Move.Have each player do a prescribed dribble move when reaching the 3-point arc. You can do a rocker step, in and out, crossover, behind the back, thru the legs, spin move, etc.
Variation #2, Finish the Lay-up Against Pressure.Place a defender in the paint at each end (a coach or manager), who offers a token defense against the lay-up... no blocks or steals allowed (nothing that would slow the flow of the drill).
Of course, you could run this drill with right-handed lay-ups as well, especially for younger teams and make the goal easier to achieve.
For additional full-court dribble-layup drills, see:
- Auriemma Dribble-Pass-Layup Drill
- Dribbling Moves Drill (with Lay-ups)
- Full-Court Speed drill
- Piston drill
- Pitch and Fire drill
- Laker drill
Contested Lay-upsFinishing Lay-ups with defensive contact (demonstrates standard power lay-ups, inside dominant hand lay-ups, and reverse lay-ups):
From "Phil Martelli: Individual and Team Skill Development" DVD
From "King Rice: Transition Offense and Secondary Break Attacks" DVD