- SHOOTING A LAY-UP -
THIS IS BRAIN TRAINING!!!
WE ARE TRAINING YOUR BRAIN TO SHOOT
The lowly lay-up IS the most important shot in basketball. The only excuse for missing a lay-up is a hard foul. You should be able to shoot a lay-up with either hand from either side of the basket off either foot with 100% proficiency. But how do you know which hand to use on any given shot attempt? Your shooting hand is dictated by the defense. If the defense is weak (lacking in effort) or there's no defense at all use your right hand on the right side of the basket and your left hand on the left side of the basket. If the defense is in your face you may need to swap hands.
If 50% of your shot attempts are lay-ups, at a bare minimum you should be shooting 50% from the field. Shooting a lay-up with your non-dominant hand is still shooting a lay-up, a shot you should be completely comfortable shooting, a shot you should practice thousands upon thousands of times. Until you can make 100 out of 100 lay-ups, with either hand, you have no business learning to shoot any other shot. Is this harsh? You bet. But the truth is, your lay-up form is fundamentally your shooting form for the rest of the shots in your basketball shooting arsenal.
The closer you are to the basket the easier it is to score. Get as high as you can when shooting a lay-up. You’ll find this is exactly how you should be shooting your jump shots too… getting as high as you can. Always warm up then dynamic stretch before playing basketball.
How to shoot a lay-up:
Regulation size backboards have a regulation sized box painted on them just above the rim (a 2" white rectangle centered behind the rim with outside dimensions of 24" horizontally and 18" vertically). If you’re flat footed on the floor in a lay-up position [under the basket and a little to the right or a little to the left] shoot the basketball and hit the backboard anywhere near the upper outside corner of the box (that’s your target) the basketball will go directly into the basket. I didn't say hit the corner exactly, just anywhere near the corner. Of course you aim for the corner, but all you need to do is hit somewhere near the upper outside corner of the box and that's good enough to get the ball to bank into the basket. (EXTREMELY IMPORTANT) Be certain to follow through. How? Follow-through with your eyes, keep your eyes focused on your target (the upper outside corner of the box) until the ball goes through the hoop.
How to shoot a lay-up with your non-dominant hand:
In order to get comfortable shooting lay-ups with your non-dominant hand practice shooting lay-ups flat footed on the opposite side of the basket from your non-dominant hand. Practice the left hand from the right side and the right hand from the left side, this is more difficult in the beginning than shooting left hand left side or right hand right side, but in the long run this will assist you in learning good shooting mechanics. At first you should practice lay-ups more with your non-dominant hand than with your dominant hand. You’ll know it’s time to practice both hands equally when you stop thinking about shooting lay-ups with your non-dominant hand because your non-dominant feels as natural as your dominant hand, just like dribbling. Every basketball player should dribble comfortably using either hand. There is no excuse for poor dribbling! Neither hand should feel weak. Practice dribbling using your weak hand more than your strong hand. Both hands should feel natural when shooting lay-ups or dribbling. If that's not the case with you, you now know how to immediately improve your game.
The more accurately you pass the more gratifying the game of basketball is for you and your teammates. How can a shooting coach possibly say that? In reality a dribble is a pass to one's self. What’s a shot? A shot is a pass to the basket. What are you doing when shooting a lay-up? You’re passing the basketball to the backboard so the backboard can tip the basketball into the basket for you; you’re dribbling the ball off the backboard into the basket. So be certain to pass (dribble) the basketball accurately to your tip-in buddy (the backboard) when you’re shooting lay-ups. The more accurately you pass, the higher your scoring percentage! You'll find accurate passing is the single most important skill in the game of basketball, and unfortunately the least frequently practiced skill.
While practicing lay ups, aim at the upper outside corner of that regulation box painted on the backboard. Follow through with your eyes.
(EXTREMELY IMPORTANT) Keep your eyes focused on the upper outside corner of the box [your target] until the ball goes through the hoop.