Reverse Layup in Basketball – Here’s How to do it

The reverse layup is a very easy and simple way to score in basketball. It’s also one of the most impressive-looking shots you can make, even though it looks like anyone could do it.

Since the reverse layup requires a high level of athleticism, it’s common to see only skilled players making this shot.

The reverse layup is so popular because it not only looks cool but also because it’s an easy way to score from long range. 

The reverse layup can be used as a trick play at the end of a game when you need either one or two points to win. Generally, this is just done to impress the crowd with an easy score.

When doing reverse layups in practice, you mustn’t overdo it. It shouldn’t be your main shot – even though it looks flashy and impressive, emphasis should be on making other shots too.

How to do a Reverse Layup in Basketball

1. Start your layup outside the key on either side

A reverse layup can be done from a closer distance, but it’s not very likely. To fully understand how this shot works, however, you should start outside the key.

There are many ways to attack the reverse layup, but all the traditional ones drive from one side of the free-throw line to the other side of the basket.

This is a skill even true beginners can learn. The keyhole shape is made by the paint on the free-throw line and a semicircle that is at the top of that line is on the court.

2. Make a buffer between you and the defender to cut inside

To stop you from cutting inside (toward the basket) and crossing to the other side of the hoop, the defender might try to stop you. This is called “blocking.” Allow enough space between you and the defender to make sure you can get to the baseline.

It’s a line that runs right next to the basket on both sides of the court.

If the defender is getting in your way, juke to the outside (away from the basket) to deflect them. Then cut quickly to the opposite side of the basket to get the ball.

3. Drive to the baseline

Then drive to the baseline on the other side of the basket. You’ve now made enough space for your approach. Two steps away from the other side of the rim, take hold of the basketball and get ready to shoot.

You might have to change your defense while you shoot this. This might mean that you start your reverse layup jump a step or two earlier or later and make adjustments as needed.

4. Exit the rim on the other side

Make a diagonal cut across the free-throw line and back to the baseline. As you do this, one leg should be facing in and the other should be facing out (away from the basket, toward the court). Jump to the other side of the rim with your inside leg.

People can make a back layup from either side of the free-throw line. Jump off your inside leg, no matter which way you start.

During a high jump, it’s normal to look down or at the ball. If you don’t see the basket, your shot will be off. Keep the basket in sight by tilting your head a little forward as you jump.

5. Reverse layup pickup delayed before shot

Take the basketball and shoot it as soon as you start your jump. When you pick up the basketball, a little delay in your pick up so that you can hold the basketball high in the arc of its bounce. Before taking the shot, the basketball should be about chest level.

6. Make the shot

You should have one hand facing inside (toward the basket) and the other facing outside (toward the court). Hold the basketball in your outside hand as you jump, then swing your arm out and flip the basketball into the hoop.

As with most long-range shots, you don’t have to shoot from the knees when you do a reverse layup. In place of that, work on making your shooting motion strong, consistent, and clean instead.

Improving Your Reverse Layup Technique

Shoot closer to the baseline to save shots

The backboard protects your shot from potential blocks the closer you shoot to the baseline. Your shooting angle will decrease as you approach the baseline. This can make for a more difficult shot.

The defense often dictates how close you can get to the basket. It’s not always possible to lay up close to the baseline.

The taller, more aggressive defense may necessitate reverse layups close to the rim.

Add spin to your shot for better backboard action

Spin on your basketball, and it will hold onto the backboard. This will let you use more of the backboard when you make your shot. As you let go of the ball, move your wrist a little to add spin to the shot.

To find the way that works best for yourself, you should try out different ways to move your wrist and how hard you flick.

Drill your reverse layups

To be able to do this shot in a split second on the court, you’ll need to make it a habit. This means you’ll have to practice it over and over again until you can do it without thinking about how to do it.

Final Thought

A reverse layup is a two-handed, reverse shot made by jumping off of the inside leg towards the basket. It’s most commonly done on an approach from either side of the free-throw lane to score at a closer distance. 

Hopefully, this article has shown you how to reverse layup in basketball. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do it right away — you’ll have ample opportunities to practice reverse layups during your regular playing time, so start practicing now!

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