Total Pageviews

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

An Hour Practicing Layups? Finishing School

A million thousand times I've said, "the two most important shots in basketball are layups and free throws." Did I mean it? We all know, "it's a layup" means easy. Is it really that easy? 

Do well what you do a lot. As a young team, we don't do anything well, yet. We could devote an hour or a whole practice to layups? Should we? Yes. 

Key point: "Eyes make layups; feet make jump shots." - Kevin Eastman

Find something to use and subtract something 'not as good.' Here are some (we all have a huge number) finishing drills. 

1. Flips aren't exactly layups, but they're a building block for finishing. 

2. No-dribble layups, a.k.a. footwork layups. 

3. Mikan drill. Everyone knows the Mikan Drill. Not everyone knows reverse Mikan. As a kid, I used to make ten consecutively from each side before moving on. 

4. Hinkle layups. Butler Coach Tony Hinkle preached making layups from different angles. I like to include reverse layups for 'exposure' to finishing from both sides. 

5. Half-court layups (three dribbles). Unless you're going hard, you have no shot, literally. 

6. Catch-and-attack versus one and two. Lawrence Welk drill (For the elders among us, "And a one and a two...")

7. Full-court layups (better with a chaser). 

8. Brian McCormick layup chase drill (above)

9. Villanova Bully Series. Outstanding video.

10. Kentucky layups (speed dribbling, two minutes per round).

11. Drop step layups. 

12. McHale move layups. Every coach reading this KNOWS this, but many players do not. How many players can explain it as an inside 'face up' and 'step through' move? 

13. UCONN layups (above). (Good pregame warmup drill...)

14. "One more." Pass, follow, and finish drill (above). Passer rotates to next spot. Coach exhorts, "one more, one more" pass as players execute. 

15. Pass and chase half court layup. 


16. Inbound streak (layup off the inbound)

17. One-on-one-on-one. Queen of the can vary whether the ball is alive after a score or not. The coach can initiate the pass to one player underneath. 

With our first league game this weekend (whatever that means), we need to spend the lion's share of practice on fundamentals. 


  1. Ron, I've been doing a segment I call Finishing School in my group workouts for years.
    Four cones all at different angles.
    Players straddle the 3 pt line, offense on one side of the cone, defense on the other.
    Two minutes of competitive finishing from each position - right and left of cone.
    With 4 cones that's a total of 16 minutes of competitive finishing per workout. It works, but I could go longer.

    Love your work, Ron. I really do.
    Bill Formella

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.