Layups in basketball

Layups in basketball are one of the most common shots. It can be done by almost every player, and it’s a great way to score points. But how do you do it? This blog post will show you what a layup is. How to perform one properly, and give some tips on improving your game!

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What is a Layup in Basketball?

Layups in basketball is a shot where the player jumps and puts the ball in the basket with one hand while being very close to the ground. The layup is usually used when you are near or under your opponent’s hoop. Because it can be easily performed from that range (unlike other shots like three points). And it gives more chances of scoring points. The layup is one of the highest percentage shots in basketball, especially if you perform it properly.

Layups in basketball

What Type of Skill is a Layup?

A layup is an All-Around skill. This means that it’s something you can practice all the time, and use in almost any game situation!

The technique of a layup should be very similar regardless of what position you are playing (PG, SG). Or even who you’re playing against (a tall defender like Shaq will make this shot more difficult than if you were playing someone smaller). The only thing that changes depending on who is defending the basket is how to set up your body for taking off; but once again, we’ll cover that later.

All around skills are practiced each day by every player during pre-game warmups and post-game cooldowns. Because they work muscles necessary for other types of shots as well.

This means that the layup will be one of your best shots later on. Whether you are playing pick-up or in an official game!

Tips and Fundamentals on Layups

  • First, get inside the defender’s reach.
  • Get a running start before you perform your layup so that you have more power to complete it. If possible, try getting past your opponent first for an easier shot!
  • Keep track of where the defense is at all times. This will help if they are trying to block your layup attempt.
  • Make sure to keep your other hand up. In case you miss the shot (you will still be able to defend yourself).
  • As you get closer to the hoop, be sure to keep your head up and your eyes on the ball.
  • Get a good grip of the basketball by making sure your fingers are spread apart (not pinched) or using two hands for better control of where the shot is going.
  • Keep your shooting elbow in contact with the outside of your knee. This will help you adjust to any changes that may happen during a game (for example, if it’s raining and makes the ball wet).
  • When doing an inside-out layup, try using different speeds to create more difficult shots for defenders. A slow layup is easier to block than one which has quick speed!
  • The key point when finishing a layup is follow-through. Make sure you are holding onto the ball until after it goes into the net so that no defender can knock it away!

How to Practice Layups?

Layups are one of the simplest shots in basketball. All it takes is a good amount of practice and dedication to making them perfect! When practicing these moves remember what we said earlier: good form is everything! Keep your eyes fixed on the rim and follow through with all motions smoothly and quickly (you don’t wanna get blocked!).

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Like any other shot, it’s better to practice with a defender. You can tell them you’re going for layups and they won’t be allowed to block the ball! Finally, we recommend practicing layups with your weak hand. This way you will make the move more unpredictable for opponents!

The Inside Out Layup

The inside-out layup is a great shooting technique to use against defenders because it’s not easy for them to block. Just like the name explains, you’re gonna need some space before making this move. So get off of your toes and take one step back with your left foot (if you’re right-handed).

Layups in basketball

Which Hand to Use

Now that we’ve got our feet in position, let’s grab the ball! You can use either hand but most players prefer their dominant hand which is usually their right hand if they are right-handed or vice versa. If you don’t already know which one of those two hands is yours just try both and see what works better for you!

All About Form

When holding the ball make sure your fingers aren’t too close together: spread them out a bit to make sure you’ve got good control over the ball. Also, keep your elbows close to your body and pointed outwards – this will help with balance!


Now we’re ready for takeoff: jump off of both feet (spread them) and try using one hand on top of the other (left on the right or vice versa). When shooting remember that keeping our elbow away from our head is very important because it allows us to shoot more straight which means less chance of missing your shot!

Releasing the Ball

There are two forms for releasing the ball. Either way is fine so it’s up to you which one feels better! Some players shoot with two hands at the same time or just use their dominant hand if they’re left-handed and vice versa for righties.

The Reverse/Overhead Layup

This layup is great if you’re near the hoop and your defender is way up at the top of the key.

Layups in basketball

Get in Positon!

First, let’s get our feet in position: we want to be closer to mid-court than under our opponent’s net so take a step or two forward with your right foot (if we’re shooting with our right hand). Finally, make sure that both hands are holding on tightly to the ball! You can also use one hand but it might feel better when using different ones every time.


Now for takeoff – remember what I said about being careful not to jump too high? Well, this applies here because players tend to reach their arms out towards the rim which makes them lose balance, especially since they’ve got another arm holding the ball. Try to jump off of one foot (the same you’ll be shooting with) and keep your arms down so you can land more easily!

Aim for the Net

After takeoff, shoot straight towards the net but always try keeping your elbow away from your face because it will help create a better shot for yourself. Keep in mind that even though this is an easier layup than the first one there are still some pretty good challenges here like not getting blocked or having someone steal/deflect our pass after we’ve made it!


The lift-off is very important when making this kind of layup: most players tend to lean forward which makes them lose balance – don’t let gravity pull you down my friend… Let me say that again… Don’t let gravity pull you down!


This concludes this guide on layups in basketball. We hope that after reading it you can go outside with some friends and practice these layups in basketball until they become second nature to you! Have fun out there and keep playing basketball!

Got any other tips or layup techniques? Let us know in the comments below!

Here are Some of our Favourite Basketball Sneakers

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What did we expect vs. what we got. Is it maybe overrated/underrated?


Here’s our pick from the very best of the bunch.


On your way to the pro leagues? Here’s our pick.


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