One of the first things a young basketball player needs to master is the layup, a fundamental skill that allows athletes to attack the basket and finish at the rim. Without it, athletes will be missing a critical offensive component of their game, relegating them to shooting jumpers.
The Two-Step Layup Drill is designed to teach the footwork players need to finish at the rim. Perfect footwork sets up timing and distance, allowing players to perform a layup accurately and in control.
I don’t instruct athletes to dribble in the Two-Step Layup Drill. This may sound counterintuitive, but it allows players to concentrate on proper footwork. The setup changes slightly depending on the skill level of the athlete, but it’s critical to attack the basket at the proper angle and use the backboard to get the ball in the basket.
For the purpose of this article, we set it up for a basketball player who’s about 10 years old.
Have athletes set up on the right block with the basketball in their hand. Remember, they aren’t allowed to dribble.
Athletes have two steps to finish the layup. Since they are on the right side, they should step with their right foot first, then up to the basket off their left foot. They should finish by laying the ball off the backboard with the right hand.
As kids get older, stronger and taller, their strides lengthen. Sometimes I have older players move out as far as the 3-point line. This may seem too far, but it works. You can also vary the drill by adding skill finishes, such as planting with the right foot and finishing with the left hand or shooting a floater.