Basketball Lay Up Drills - 3 Lay Up Shooting Progressions

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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.

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


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Jacob says:
2/1/2021 at 7:17:30 PM

Hey guys and girls I'm going to be coaching a class with 16 students in the class and I would like to know what drills I should I start with


  1 reply  

Jeff Haefner says:
2/2/2021 at 4:50:38 PM

Depends on age, skill level, and goals. Here are a few resources that might help you choose some good drills:


Jols Brown says:
3/15/2019 at 5:03:41 AM

Oh hello im to fat to do this ok thank you please reply to my email thanks can i get a virtual cookie as well that would be very nice thank you

  1 reply  

Harsha Chalasani says:
3/11/2020 at 9:18:30 PM

u suck bro, JK. Keep trying you can get better


ozan says:
7/28/2015 at 8:48:58 AM

how if im lay and get traped by sf or sg??

  1 reply  

Jols Brown says:
3/15/2019 at 5:04:48 AM

lay down


Dr J's Stuff says:
4/9/2015 at 1:10:55 AM

Valuable progressions & technique. My only concern is "left foot" "right foot" stuff they often get caught up in. Have used the concept of "inside foot," which will apply to nearly all their shooting. "Inside," meaning "closest to the
basket-to-basket midline of the court.


Vladimir says:
11/27/2014 at 10:35:24 AM

So for a right handed layup you go right foot-left foot-jump and you raise your right knee?


Nina says:
1/23/2014 at 4:47:44 PM

Great way to break down the layup. Trying to teach young ones is hard and this makes it easy to teach.


Hasaun Hunter says:
1/22/2014 at 11:32:23 AM

Is there a way to teach under handed lay ups?


Nigel says:
1/6/2014 at 11:53:52 AM

Great tips! I teach 5-8 year old kids. I find the toughest concepts for this age group to grasp is driving the leg up to change their momentum from horizontal to vertical. (Don't worry, I don't use that language with them) I love the hip pocket tip, and I use the string analogy all the time. I start progression 1 without the ball and then repeat it with the ball.




Joe Haefner says:
1/6/2014 at 10:08:57 AM

Thanks, Alex. We appreciate the additional tip. As you mention, not too many youth players can shoot a lay up properly with only one hand.


Alex says:
1/5/2014 at 6:24:35 PM


These are good building block drills and they've served me well in the past. One note though...... I noticed there was no mention of NOT dropping the balance hand....especially for beginners.

I realize that more athletic / older players will be able to roll the ball but beginners need to keep 2 Hands on the ball and properly follow through. This will also help absorb contact that they may well as maintain balance.


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