Learn Basketball Layups, Part 3: The Power Layup

Here's a helpful move that'll make you a force down low. In this installment of our series on mastering basketball layups, you'll learn the Power Layup.

Power Layup

Ok folks, we're moving along here in our series on how to master basketball layups. By now you should have seen our step-by-step guides to the Overhand Layup and Underhand Layup. (If not, go back and check them out, then come back here and read on.) The power layup is another common layup variation that you'll want to add to your repertoire. It's a popular choice for younger players, because they have more shooting control. But it's very effective and a strong move when you're near the basket.

Power Layup

Here are some demonstrations that'll help you learn the move:

Now for the step-by-step

  • To perform a power layup, jump straight up off both feet. Your outside hand (from the basket) should shoot the ball similar to your normal shot, but straight up. Your inside hand should be up and strong to protect the ball.
  • Shoot up high and aim for the top corner of the box.

To get into position for a power layup, you will use a jump stop. (Check out How to Increase Your Vertical.)

Jump Stop Form

  • Jump off one foot but land on both feet at exactly the same time to avoid traveling. The jump stop is really more of a quick hop. Height is not important. It's more important to land on both feet at the same time and to quickly transition from running to a balanced landing.
  • Next, jump as high as you can and explode up to shoot. You can perform a Pro Hop move, which uses an exaggerated jump stop to cover more ground before landing; but a proper quick stop is more effective in most cases.
  • When you land, both feet should be under your hips, in line, and facing the backboard.
  • Do not fade away from the defense or jump backward when you jump.

Keys for Success

  • Keep your eyes on the target.
  • Jump as high as you can.
  • Protect the ball as you shoot.
  • As with any layup, try to keep a good angle to the basket. A good angle allows you to shoot off the corner of the box and for the ball to easily drop through the net.
  • Although coaches say to attack the rim, it helps to go more to the side of the rim, toward the backboard, rather than straight at the backboard. If you are dribbling down the side of the key, your last steps should take you inside more, creating the angle you need. When you can dunk the ball, you can attack the rim directly.
  • Always shoot with the hand opposite the foot you jumped off. If you jump off your right foot, shoot with your left hand.
  • The other types of layups give you more options, but for now, practice your footwork and timing so you jump and shoot correctly.

When to Use the Power Layup

The power layup is the easiest layup variation to score with when there's a lot of contact. For this reason, it should be a big part of any player's post game. You can also use the power layup after a shot fake or drop step.

Drills to Practice the Power Layup

A good power layup drill is the Mikan drill, named after George Mikan, the first dominating big man in the NBA. This is a drill all players should do. It can be performed jumping off two feet, one foot, or one foot while standing under the basket to shoot reverse layups. If you jump high enough, you can make every finish a dunk. Using two feet will be your power layup repetitions. The Mikan drill is a widely used and is good for players to work on scoring inside, even though the angles are not ideal.

The Mikan Drill

  • Start on one side of the rim and shoot using the backboard.
  • As the ball goes in, take a big step with your outside foot across to the other side of the rim.
  • Grab the ball out of the net on your way, plant your other foot so you are square to the backboard and shoot again.
  • If you are a smaller player and need an extra step, side step with your inside foot first, then continue the same way as above.
  • To shoot off only one foot, don't plant your second foot. Grab the ball and shoot off the foot you stepped with. Jump as high as you can each time you shoot and keep your off hand up to protect the ball.

See how many you can make, or continue until you make a set number from each side.

Read More

This is just one part of our series on basketball layups, which also includes guides to help you with...


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock