Basketball Drills - Auriemma Uptempo Layup Drills

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Here are two good conditioning, lay-up drills from Hall of Fame UConn Women's Coach Geno Auriemma.

coach Geno Auriemma
Coach Geno Auriemma

Drill #1 - Dribble Pass Lay-up Drill

This drill is a great way to start your practices. Coach Auriemma has his team do this drill every day. Not only does it reinforce fundamentals and precision, but sets a tone for an uptempo pace of play.

Start with two lines (diagram 1) and two balls. O1 starts a few steps behind the half-court line (don't allow players to "cheat up"), and O2 is a step or two ahead of O1 on the sideline. O1 takes two speed-dribbles, makes a jump-stop, and bounce passes to O2 cutting hard to the hoop for a lay-up. When starting the drill, the next O1 with the second ball can start the dribble once the first lay-up is made.

O1 gets the rebound (diagram 2) and outlet passes to O2 sprinting up the opposite side. O2 then passes to the next person in the O1 line. O2 goes to the rear of the middle (O1) line, and O1 goes to the end of the sideline (O2) line.

Auriemma lay-up drill Auriemma lay-up drill

For this drill to be effective, players must sprint and be precise with good passing, catching and finishing lay-ups. Good passing includes precise passes not only for the lay-up, but also for the outlet pass and the pass back to the middle line. Do not allow sloppiness and laziness.

If you have twelve players, the team must make twelve lay-ups in a row (each player will have to make a lay-up). Any missed lay-up, bad pass, or flub of any kind causes them to start over. Once they reach twelve, then do left-hand lay-ups starting the O2 line along the left sideline.

Drill #2 - Full-Court Transition Lay-up Drill

Another uptempo layup drill, this 3-on-0 drill starts with three lines at one end (see diagram 3). The three players sprint down the court to the endline, staying wide in their own lanes, passing back and forth. Once they reach the endline, O1 turns and speed dribbles up the court while O2 and O3 sprint, staying wide, and then cutting to the hoop for the bounce pass from O1 (to either cutter) and the lay-up.

Auriemma lay-up drill #2 Auriemma lay-up drill #2

  1. Players must communicate and call the receiver's name.
  2. Players must sprint as fast as they can.
  3. O1 uses as few dribbles as possible to get from the enline to the top of the key (3 or 4 dribbles).
  4. All passes are chest passes, except the last pass for the lay-up is always a bounce pass.

The team must complete 13 made lay-ups in a row, with no misses, muffed passes, bad passes, etc. If someone messes up, you start over at zero.