Layup Drills for Basketball Teams

Many basketball teams practice layup drills to improve their skills. As a rule, this is especially important if you have players who can’t seem to make consistent layups. If players can consistently lay the ball up, they will start making layups more often.

Another problem I see with young teams is that they can’t do a lot at once. They make players think about timing, passing, and how to get there. 

I like these basketball practice drills because it allows for focus on those skills.

This is a simple layup drill that helps you improve your feeding and on-the-go skills. 

People on my team can shoot, lay up, and pass on their own. But when I put them all together, it was a different story. This drill was very useful to foster teamwork and coordination.

5 Important Layup Drills

1. Technique Layups

The Drill’s job:

Practice layups off one step, two steps, and with one dribble, then full-speed layups from the three-point line, which they do with one dribble.


All players should work on their layup skills. Players need to learn and practice the basic technique before they use it in practice and games at game speed.



  1. Before the player’s practice, the coach must explain and show how to make a layup from each spot.
  2. During a layup drills, players start on the block, move one step forward with their closest foot to the middle of the court and finish the shot.
  3. Afterward, the person who just made a layup joins the rest of them.
  4. Continue in this way for a few minutes before coming back.
  5. That’s when they take a step back from the block and do a two-step layup (place a cone if you have one so the players always know where to start from). First, players step with their outside foot. Then, they step with their inside foot.
  6. They practice dribbling in and making layups with cones in front of them at the three-point line.

2. Zig-Zag Layups

The Drill’s job:

For two minutes, a player goes after the rim and finishes at the basket with a different type of layup every time. When they drive, they have to change the angle of the shot on each one.


This drill lets players practice finishing at the basket with different layups.


You should start in a place that isn’t on the three-point line.
Drive toward the basket and finish your move with a variety of moves:

  • Layup
  • Layup in the backwards
  • When you lay up, you use your overhand hand to do it
  • Floater
  • Jump stop and layup.
  • Euro step
  • Inside hand finish
  • etc.

When you finish, right away get the basketball back, move to a spot outside the three-point line, and then attack and finish with a different move.

In total, the drill is done this way for two minutes.

3. Around the Arc

The Drill’s job:

It’s an offensive/defensive split. They start in a corner and work their way around. 

How it works: It’s because the offensive player must get there first. The offensive player must go after him and score.


Players practice finishing at the hoop even if someone follows. They also practice avoiding rear-end hits.


  1. An offensive player dribbles around the three-point line while being pursued by a defender.
  2. In a game, the offensive player can try to get a goal at any time. As long as the offensive player doesn’t cross over into 3-point land, the defense can’t do anything.
  3. Before the offensive player gets to the 3-point line, he or she can make any moves or fakes with the ball. Once inside, the offensive player must try to keep the ball and score while the defender tries to block the shot.
  4. They quickly switch places and join the lines on the other side of where they started. The next pair starts their round.
  5. The drill is done this way for a set amount of time.

4. Two-on-One Half-Court

The Drill’s job:

Both of the outside lines are offensive, but the middle line is defensive. This is how it works: All three players run up and around the cones before they start a two-on-one transition game against the other team.


Practicing decision-making on the fast break and defending in a bad situation are two things that can be done in this game.


  1. The coach passes to one of the offensive players to start the drill. This is how it starts. All three players run quickly up and around the cones as soon as they get it.
  2. Live two-on-one games are now being played.
  3. The drill goes on until a basket is made, or until the defender gets the ball through a rebound or steal.
  4. Coach: The players then give their basketballs back to the coach. They then form a new line.

5. Russian Layouts

The Drill’s job:

In this drill, people will make a long pass and then sprint down the court to get a pass from another line for a layup.


One of the best exercises for getting in shape. It focuses on long passes and the ability to finish layups quickly.


  1. The drill starts with the player dribbling until he is in the passing range, at which point he makes the long pass and then moves on.
  2. Continues to run and grabs the basketball in preparation for the layup.
  3. After passing, he runs up the court and gets the pass at full speed, and passes it to the other high post.
  4. After the first layup, they move someone else into the high post without rebounding their shot.
  5. If the sprinter gets the pass, the next step is to rebound the layup and pass it to the next person in line in the corner.
  6. Each end of the court is done for three or five minutes.

Final Thought

Layup drills are a great way to develop the layup shots on each players’ shot chart. It is just as crucial that layups are practiced at full speed as it is practicing dunks.

Any of these layup drills can be used with any group size, whether you have 5 players or 20. Just scale the drill back so that all players are involved. To lower the number of layups done in a drill, reduce the number of layups each person does and increase the number of people who participate.

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