How to Perform Layups in Basketball

Performing layups in a controlled fashion can take a lot of practice. It’s worth practicing since layups are an integral part of basketball. They require a huge amount of coordination along with power and strength. 

You will also need incredible hand-eye coordination for this task if you hope to even come close to making layups regularly. In layups, the wrists have to snap at exactly the right time while layups around the basket require a lot of power and strength.

The layup is also important because you need to get a good layup to keep quick pressure on your opponent while this move can help you score. This makes layups a valuable asset for any basketball player. 

If you truly wish to excel at layups then you need to take them very seriously and learn as much as possible about layups. This article is going to go over the basics of layup shots and what it takes to make layups in a controlled fashion with several drills and moves that can assist layup performance and lay-up accuracy.

Steps on Performing Layups in Basketball

1. Eyes Up

To start, the player must raise their eyes. This is important for two main reasons:

a. To Lock onto the Target

Because of the angle and speed of the player, their goal will be the hoop or the backboard. This is a skill that players will learn over time.

b. To Read the Defense

As soon as a player makes a layup, several defenders will move across to help and to fight the shot.

To read these defenders, the players must raise their eyes and use their peripheral vision to look at them from all sides.

This helps the player figure out which layup variation has the best chance of scoring (or which teammate is now open to receiving a pass).

2. Outside Foot Step (Long)

Keep in mind that this blog post is about an unguarded layup. First, when a player picks up the basketball, they should step with their “outside” foot, not their “inside” (closest to the sideline).

Here’s the right foot to use when you’re making layups with your right hand.

This is the left foot for layups with the left hand.

When coaching players how to do this, there are two important things to keep in mind:

(1) Long Step

We want the players to move farther with their first step, and a long step also helps them reach the second goal.

(2) Controlled

Players must keep control of their bodies as they lay up. Too often, we see young players running toward the hoop and then throwing the ball hard off the backboard.

Take their time so that they have a better chance of getting a basket.

3. Inside Foot Step (High)

This is the second step in a traditional layup. You should use your inside foot for this (closest to the middle of the court).

This is the left foot for layups with a right hand.

This is the right foot for making layups with your left hand.

The following is the most important point for the second step:

This is a very high jump.

Besides making sure young players slow down and keep control of their layups, the emphasis on jumping high gives them the momentum to finish the layup.

As they leap from their other foot, they thrust their shooting-side knee into the air.

On layups made with the right hand, the right knee goes down. Layups with the left hand: Knee with the left hand.

4. Protect the Ball

Players must keep the ball safe while they try to make a layup.

Two things to look for:

a. Getting Stripped

During their two steps, smart defenders will try to take the ball away from the offensive player and run with it.

The offensive player must have strong hands and keep the ball close to his or her body to avoid this.

b. Blocked

When the offensive player moves the ball up or releases it, tall defenders will try to stop the shot.

Fouls are more likely to occur when non-shooting hands defend the ball.

5. Continuity

To learn how to layup, the fifth step is to practice.

Take the ball above their heads, extend your arm, and flick your wrist to direct the ball into a hoop.

Traditional overhand layups are a lot like standard jump shots when it comes to this part of the layup method.

Check out the following about some players:

They push the basketball up from their chests rather than raise it above their heads before shooting. This is a sign that someone doesn’t have enough strength.

This isn’t a big deal when they are young, but as they get older and stronger, make sure they break this habit.

6. Practice!

Once your players have learned the correct layup technique, it’s time for them to get down to business with their layup practice!

Consider the following important things for coaches:

a. Different Angles and Speeds

Layup drills should be done where players try to get to the hoop from a lot of different places on the court and at different speeds.

  • Left/right

  • The face of the rim

  • Following the base

They must be able to drive to the basket from any point on the court.

b. Right Hand and Left Hand

Allow young players to only use their dominant hand when learning to make a layup.

Keep an eye on them to make sure they start using both hands when they’ve mastered the correct technique and built up the strength they need to do so.

This is very important as they get older and face more difficult opponents. It lets them keep the ball and finish around good defenders.

c. Competition!

You should start running drills right away that make players attack the defense — and finish with a layup against a live defense.

Every practice should include drills on how to lay up and how to compete in a scrimmage against each other.

Your players may have a hard time at first when they play against other people. They might commit a traveling violation, jump off the wrong foot, or take two steps too quickly. But in the long run, they will benefit from the competitive struggle.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to remember layup technique drills and layup competition drills should be used for players of all ages and abilities. Even the best basketball players in the world constantly work on their layup technique during practice!

For younger players, focus on making sure they get plenty of reps driving to the hoop before you add layup competition. The layup might seem simple, but it’s one of the most effective ways to score in basketball.

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