The Ultimate Lay Up Drill with 5 Essential Lay Ups for Youth and High School Players

As mentioned in the video, we believe this is one of the best drills to improve your ability to make more lay ups!

You learn how to make different types of lay ups from every angle of the basket. You can also easily modify the drill to practice any finishing move!

This is great for all age levels and skill levels.

And it shows you great variations to practice finishing against live defenders.

5 Essential Lay Ups for Youth and High School Players

The five essential lay ups for youth and high school players are actually quite simple. You need to be able to finish off either foot, either hand and both feet.

  • Right Foot - Left Hand Finish
  • Left Foot - Right Hand Finish
  • Right foot - Right Hand Finish
  • Left Foot - Left Hand Finish
  • Both Feet (Quick Stop) - Either Hand

That way, you can jump and shoot at any point. This gives you more lay up opportunities. You don't need to take an extra step that gives the defense more time to recover and contest the shot.

You should practice these from all angles approaching the basket.

You should also practice shooting from different distances. That way, you can stop early and shoot over taller players or quickly extend to the basket to beat help defense.

Lay Up Drill #1 - 1v0 Arc Finishing Drill

You place cones multiple cones around the 3-point arc.

The player dribbles around each cone. Once facing the basket, the player dribbles towards the basket and shoots a lay up.

Practice dribbling around the cone with each hand equally. Practice finishing with each hand equally.

Younger players can move the cones closer to the basket. You can also vary the distance of each cone.

Lay Up Drill #2 - 1v1 Arc Finishing Drill

Two players start at the baseline, one stacked in front of the other with the ball handler in front, facing the top of the key. The defender will start behind.

The ball handler will pick any cone they want to go to. Whichever cone they pick, the defender will run to the opposite cone.

The ball handler will push the ball up the court, around the cone and try to finish with a lay up. The defender will run around the opposite cone and try to get back to the basket to contest the shot.

The ball handler can make it random and go to different spots to work on attacking the basket from different angles. Each time the defense must go to the opposite cone.

Repeat as many times as you want and switch offense to defense.

Defender Variation:

If you find that the defender is not reaching the offensive player in time, you can also switch the defense and the ball handler. The defense starts in front and the ball handler reacts to the defender starting the drill.

Lay Up Drill #3 - Offense & Defense Pick Any Cone

This time, the ball handler will pick any cone they want to go to, but so will the defense. They can't go to the same cone, but they can go to the same side of the floor if they want.

Now the defense will come from different angles and force the offense to work on different finishes.

Be creative - adjust the cones to different distances or spots on the floor. This will make it more game-like.

Lay Up Drill #4 - Defense Cones Closer

Move the cones on one side of the floor closer to the basket. The defender will run to the closer cones. This will make it easier for the defense to get back to the basket and will represent a help-side defender.

The offense has the disadvantage of the cones being further out which will force the ball handler to attack quicker and be stronger with their finish.

The players can go to opposite cones like the first variation of this drill or they can go to any cone they want, as long as it is on their side of the floor.

After a few reps, switch the side of the floor with the close cones to get practice finishing from both sides of the basket.

Training Tips:

  • Practice different finishing moves - The offense should not use the same finishing move every time. This is the time to work on new moves.

  • Give the offense different angles - Move the cones around the floor so that the ball handler is attacking the basket from many different angles.

  • Game speed - Both the offense and the defense should go full speed. This will create the most game-like situations.

Breakthrough Basketball Camps for Better Finishing and Making More Lay Ups

Our Breakthrough Camps will teach you how to score better around the basket with highly effective scoring moves.

You can find camps near you at the schedule below. There are camps all across North America.

Breakthrough Basketball Camp Schedule

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


Most Likes First   Oldest First   Newest First

Jack says:
2/26/2021 at 1:20:54 PM

Simple but very useful


JoeIngersoll says:
4/2/2019 at 10:23:16 AM

Like the five cone 1x1 finish portion of this drill


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