The following progressions are perfect for teaching the fundamentals of finishing a lay up. They are ideal for beginner players but also work well as a refresher course for older, more advanced players.
Progression 1: 1-Step Lay Up – Footwork Emphasis
Start close to the basket with your right foot forward and left foot back. Bend your knees and get low so you are ready to explode. Take a step with your left foot, jump and shoot the lay up. Grab the rebound out of the net, return to where you began and do it again.
Right-Handed Lay Up – Right Foot Forward
Left-Handed Lay Up – Left Foot Forward
Progression 2: 1-Step Lay Up – Eyes and Hip Pocket Emphasis
It is important to teach players to locate their target with their eyes prior to finishing.
A bad habit that many players have is to sweep the ball from the outside of their body to the inside of their body during their lay up motion. This opens up the ball to the defender and makes it easier for the defender to steal.
When practicing a right handed lay up, teach your players to start with the ball on their right hip pocket and focus on keeping it on that side of their body as they go up through their shooting motion. This shields the ball from the defense.
Take a step with your left foot, jump and shoot the lay up.
These lay ups should be practiced from both sides of the basket.
On the left side, they need to keep the ball in their left hip pocket.
Progression 3: 1 Dribble Lay Up
The next progression is to add the dribble to the lay up. Young kids should start near the free throw line. Older, more experienced players can start from beyond the three point line.
Just like in the first progression, the player will start with their
right foot forward and their left foot back. Have them take
one dribble, and then shoot the lay up.
The same thing can be completed on the left side, starting with
their left foot forward.
Footwork for right-handed lay up: Left – Right – Left
Footwork for left-handed lay up: Right – Left – Right
These drills may seem simple but it is important to stick to these progressions and not try to add too much at once. With inexperienced players, adding too much at once can lead to poor retention and poor execution. These beginner lay ups will build better fundamentals which will lead to more successful lay ups and more success for you and your team.
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