More in our series on improving your game. We continue with Shooting and concentrate on “The Layup”
The lay-up shot is the easiest shot in the game to take and yet many players tend to make it more difficult than it should be. Beginning players will improve quickly if in the initial stages care is taken using correct footwork and shooting technique. The object of the lay-up shot is to get as close to the basket as possible before releasing the ball and then laying the ball softly off the backboard. The footwork and timing for the jump is important while the release of the ball is the same as explained for the set shot.
Start at a point about 1m. outside the edge of the free throw line facing the basket with both feet about shoulder width apart. The object of the drill is to ensure the shot is taken using the correct footwork and timing.. The player should make just one bounce (dribble) of the ball while taking only three steps. As the player takes the first step with his left foot he bounces the ball so that the ball hits the floor at the same time as the left foot hits the floor. The player takes possession of the ball as the right foot hits the floor then jumps off the left foot to take the shot. The description is for a right handed shooter and the instructions are reversed for a left handed shooter. The main point of emphasis is the right handed shooter should jump of the left foot and a left handed shooter should jump off the right foot.
Usually it helps if the young player is instructed to call out “left, right, left” as he works at the drill and exaggerates the way he “bangs” his feet into the floor while making his three steps. For some players it may seem a little embarrassing to exaggerate the steps and to call out the steps, but it helps the rapid learning process and it can be a bit of fun as well. The drill is repeated from both sides of the keyway, then after players are able to use the correct footwork the starting point can be beyond the three point line and more than one dribble is used. The emphasis remains that the players must shoot off the correct foot.