Basketball Finishing Drill - The Arc Finishing Drill

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Lay-up lines are a very common warm up drill for basketball teams. But rarely does a player encounter a situation in games where they have an opportunity to dribble at a perfect angle and pace toward the basket for a lay-up. The following drill is a better way to simulate game situations where you will be coming from all different angles to shoot a lay-up.

Step 1:

Before you start the drill, you must set up 5 cones around the three point line (marked as X's on the diagram to the right).

Start by dribbling with your right hand around the first cone and then come back to the basket to shoot a right handed lay-up.


Step 2:

As soon as you complete a lay-up around cone #1, you will progress to each one of the cones.

Once you make a lay-up from each spot with your right hand, you will go back through each spot this time shooting and dribbling with your left hand.

By the end of the drill, you should have completed 10 lay-ups (5 right handed & 5 left handed).


Important Tips:

Extend the Ball - As soon as you get around the cone, extend the ball as you dribble to accelerate your pace to beat the defense to the basket.

Chin Up / Eyes Up - When completing the lay-up, remember to get your chin up and your eyes on the basket. This will help you finish in traffic.

Drive Your Knee To Your Nose - During your lay-up, drive your knee to your nose. This will help you get the maximum height out of your vertical leap and keep your body under control.

Push Yourself - Make sure that you perform this drill full speed. You want to best simulate game situations, so dribble and move as you would during a game. By doing that, this also becomes a great conditioning drill.


  • Move the cones to different locations on the court.
  • Execute a dribble move at the cone.
  • Use different finishing moves at the basket such as the Rondo, Euro, Runner, etc.

Related Resources:

Breakthrough Basketball Camp Schedule
3 Lay Up Shooting Progressions For Beginners
Corner Finishing Drill - Improve Your Ability To Finish At The Rim
Fast Break Drills - 1 on 1 Half Court Attack
SKLZ Agility Cones - 20 2" cones

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


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anonymous says:
9/29/2019 at 2:55:41 PM

thank you this helped a lot
i'm excited to see more


Yohan Peraza says:
10/8/2018 at 5:09:40 AM

It helped to improve thaank you xx


Ken Sartini says:
2/28/2014 at 12:26:21 PM

Here are a couple we used...


RAUL says:
2/28/2014 at 12:31:33 AM

What would be an example of drills that could be used to warm up before games?


Brian Hodo says:
2/18/2014 at 10:04:07 PM

Love it. We're always looking for more practice with lay ups. Maybe put a second level of cones closer to the basket for the more advanced players to do a double move.


Coach Sean says:
2/14/2014 at 10:52:39 AM

Another good one! I feel it helps the kids more when drills simulate realistic situations they'll have in games. Here you've have change of direction, dribbling with both hands, attacking the basket from different angles......all things you would need to execute in a game. Adding a dribble move at the cone & different finishing moves just makes it that more realistic.


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