Sunday, 6 November 2011

Motivating Yourself

Posted by in For Coaches, For Parents, For Players, Motivation & Health | 0 comments
Motivating Yourself
No matter the sport, the most successful athletes are the ones that can motivate themselves throughly. They not only spend a lot of time in the gym practicing their shots and working out physically, but they also make sure that their motivation gets trained, too.
A lot of people forget that being motivated has a lot to do with the correct mindset, that enables you to keep yourself pushing forward and improving yourself. You have to train your brain, just like any other muscle, and have a strategy for this.

Everything we do is based on experiences we have made in the past, and can influence us positively and negatively. No matter the situation, when a decision has to be made all people go through a specific process:
1. Persipience
2. Reflection
3. Decision
When deciding usually a pattern is activated, based on education, experience and the person’s personality. This means, that people evaluate situations differently, and make different decisions based on this. Being a coach, I like to watch players and find out how they deal with pre-game nervosity. What I watch very often is that there players, that love competition and look at it as a great challenge. You can literally see excitement in their eyes, waiting for the game to begin. Then there are other players, that seem intimidated and worry about the defeats, eventhough the game hasn’t started.
My opinion is, that as a coach you should teach your players on how to use mental strategies to help them be confident and excel to their fullest. Having these strategies in place will help your players to positively influence the way of thinking. For example prior to your game you to concentrate on winning, and not on losing. Stand in front of the mirror and speak it out loud.
“I can do it!”
“I’ll go outthere and give my very best!”
Scientists have proved, that doing this has a positive influence on your confidence, as you basically plant the picture of success in your brain. Visualize your success as often as you can, and you will be astounded how much can be reached with this simple technique. During the Olympics I have watched many high jumpers using this exact technique, so when they start with the first step you can be sure that they have watched themselves jumping over that pole.
In the basketball game, you can use this technique like Karl Malone and many other players have shown as in the past. Even nowadays players are using it. When at the free-throw line you can watch them verbally visualizing making this important shot. They are constantly reassuring themselves, that they will succeed.
This positive reinforcement which takes place in your mind helps to lose intensity, gain mental strength and trains you to focus your attention to the task ahead.
In times of psychological strain you should always find the time to relax regularly, to avoid stress and nervosity. Sicknesses are directly linked to the two. Only if you can strike a healthy balance between strain and relaxation, your body and mind will, too. It can be very simple, just spend a couple of minutes on your own, without any distractions. Turn off your iPod, close your eyes and let your mind rest for a little while. If possible, go for a walk in the park or have some off-time with your friends.
Here’s a quick round-up on how you can improve your mental well-being:
1. Motivate yourself.
2. Improve your psychological efficiency.
3. Work on your self-confidence
4. Regenerate regulary.
5. Put “off-time” in your daily time table.
[info_box]Picture credit: Berlin-bleibt-Berlin.deCreative Commons Attribution[/info_box]

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Tip: The Fundamentals First Fast Break Newsletter!

Posted by in For Coaches, For Parents, For Players | 0 comments

On a quick note I’d like to point you to one of my favourite blogs outthere. It’s run by Brian from the Fundamentals First Basketball Coaching Network, who is a dedicated teacher of the game.

Brian has put a lot of effort into his blog and now he is establishing a periodical newsletter called “The Fundamentals First Fast Break” Newsletter. In this newsletter he shares a lot of tips, drills, handouts, quotes and thoughts on various topics in the game of basketball.

If you’d like to receive a copy, send an e-mail directly to Brian ( and subscribe to this wonderful newsletter. It’s worth it! Make sure to visit his blog aswell!

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Basketball Coaching Tips – Beating The Zone

When faced with the zone, there are a couple of things that are key to having any success. You’re going to need to hit open shots, move the ball quickly, and make sure your big men are involved – whether that’s getting a post touch or crashing the offensive glass.

Whether it’s a 3-2, 2-3, or 1-3-1 doesn’t really make a difference, players will just need to make small adjustments to find the holes in each of the different zones.

Zone Offense Plays Overload

My favorite zone offense is the overload. The reason for this is that even if your team doesn’t do a great job of shooting the 3 ball, there are plenty of opportunities to make basket cuts or spot up for 15 footers.

With your point guard up top, have the power forward come up next to him on the weak side. Your 3-man will be on the weak side wing, and your center on the weak side block. Your shooting guard will be on the strong side block.

To initiate the play, the power forward will step up, and set a ball screen for the point guard. The 4-man will roll, but chances are that pass won’t be available, and the point guard will swing the ball to the wing and space out up top.

As this is happening, the 2 guard is going to set up his man, and use the flex screen being set by the center on the other block. To give him some more room to operate, the small forward is going to bring the ball up a little bit higher.

The center should turn and seal as soon as they set the pick, and look to get into the high low game with the power forward off the entry, who will be spotted up around the free throw line in the high post.

With the overload of offensive players in that small area, the defense is going to have to leave someone open, and everytime you make another quick pass in that area they have to shift over to the ball. With a couple well-placed passes, you’ll get an easy shot every possession down the floor.

And if your big men are having trouble making concise decisions out of the high post, try these post offense drills that will do a great job of teaching them their all their options.

basketball drill videosTags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Basketball Plays, Offensive Plays

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Friday, 4 November 2011

A Tough Loss

Posted by in For Coaches, My Diary | 0 comments

Yesterday we’ve lost our first game this season by only one point. If you have ever gone through a situation like this, then you know, how the mood was right after the game. Barely anyone had something to say. This game weighed in even more than other games, as our direct competitor now had an advantage for the runner-up spot to the next league. Until now, we both hadn’t lost any games.

Today, not even 24 hours later, I still feel down and unmotivated. Out of this situation I’d like to share with you a couple of thoughts on how I will try to cope with this loss. I personally think, that you learn a lot more from a loss than by a winning game. A loss lets you rethink your attitude, your concept … basically the way you play from the ground. It gives you the chance to see, on what you should be working in the next training sessions and whether you were outplayed or out-talented.

There are many reasons, why you can lose a game, but throughout the game you may find a sort of pattern, which may have caused the loss predominantly. In our case we were taken out of our usual set play and had to improvise a lot to get the necessary score. Then we were forced to play against a defensive Box-and-One set-up, which we haven’t played against, yet. Another vital part which caused the loss were the turnovers we had in this close game.

You get the point: Look at the top three problems and find a solution for this. Address it in the next practice immediately. By doing this you can learn from your opponent and maybe adapt what he has been doing successfully. Is this something you can use in your offensive and defensive arsenal?

Look at where you have been out-scored or in which areas you had a lot of problems. We mainly lost a lot of points in the paint and on the fast break. Analyze it clearly and use this information in the rematch.

Now, put up a list on where you need to improve for the next game. Put together a set of drills which reduce your weaknesses and mistakes you’ve made. If you have time, plan a lot of repetitions so the patterns will be internalize.

Basketball is one of the most complex ball games on earth and therefore needs a lot of practice to master. Every game is different, every offensive play is different! Remember that losing and winning go together.

How do you cope with a tough loss?

Update: As of today, our competitor for the runner-up spot lost a close away game, too, so this evens out the wins vs. losses. We still have a good chance to move into the next league.

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Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Great NBA Stories:Allen Iverson

June, 2001

It was overtime, Match 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, 76ers and the Lakers. Allen Iverson splits the defense only to attain himself matched in the lead with the only Laker small and speedy enough to contend with him, and that's Tyronn Lue. Iverson stutter-steps, waits, and next moves decent except NO!!!! Fakes back left with an incredible crossover, stops again, leaps, shoots, BOOOOMMM!!!! Iverson scores his 47th and 48th spot of the night, and Lue is on the floor, still beginning when Iverson's dribble finished him trip and fall. Because he walks back inedible, Iverson realizes he's first got to step over Tyronn Lue, in support of the carcass of another overmatched, beaten zebra stands in the way of the crocodile. At the consistent epoch as the Philadelphia bench in their threatening maroon and black pull-offs clapped and threw jubiliant fists, the Staples Center crowd complete their way hastily for the rear doors, used for near was equal added frustrating and dramatic tension to ensue had as 8,000,000 nation tried to achieve it home at after proceeding a single strip of highway. And after a number of hours of waiting resting on alleged highway, they would achieve a magnificent add up of four feet to manuever ahead -- much in the vein of Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher. As thriving as when they were about to aver those four feet, they would ensue stop rotten by a tiny, swift motorcyclist, zinging his way through the narrow aisle of rapt vehicles, filling each amicable crinkle he was being certain. And then he crashed...nicked next to the hip by a side-view mirror. Luckily as the cyclist dropped, he knew how to fall. This was the way it was, nighttime in and night absent for this young jet-propelled architect. A feat that would tear the face rancid a normal man. As satisfactorily as the guy hadn't tatty a helmet while doing it...literally...since far above the ground discipline.

Everything in relation to Allen Iverson's ready mixed up the physics of being attain, and handling its' effects. Shaquille O' Neal was asked who the paramount player in the NBA was in 2002. Shaq didn't steady hesitate -- it's AI. Why? Because "he gets injured every the calculate, and never complains about it."

Shaq was proper. Because we all make out starting the encode Jackass" which we'll natter on the subject of soon after, a number of guys are Ryan Dunn. They nitpick and whine and exclaim everytime they get an injury, and then all, All knows their vulnerability point. You should never still ever anticipate taking place specialist sports because the players you rely on to get you your money will turn outdated and near and play in pest, recreation in a way that will finally involve their ready, the only discrepancy is that the opponents will hack them on the arm that's NOT ill thinking that's the one that's ailing. Allen Iverson, Shaq got at that day, is NBA championship pertinent for the reason that the negligible, littlest guy by the the toughest to acquire consume in a test of men.

Unfortunately the Lakers would tear not together the 76ers next that astonishing revisit and overtime success by Philly in Willing 1. Dikembe Mutombo would calculate and calculate and time and time and time and time and time and time again get elbowed directly in the nose by Shaq as he went up for hookshot attempts which were NOTHING but attempts to get a whistle.

After the series, the 76ers would try again in 2002, but they would lose to the Celtics in Round 2. And Iverson would get in trouble for throwing his girlfriend naked out of his house. It's none of our business, no, but it would lead to Iverson's downfall in Philly...which IS our rightful business...

Summer 2002

"PRACTICE?!!! WE GONNA TALK ABOUT PRACTICE?!" Iverson smiles in front of a worldwide audience.

"How is my relationship with Allen?" Brown says soberly. "I don't know, you tell me how a relationship would go with one of your workers who comes in late if at all, does what he wants, ignores his coach's instructions."

Larry Brown would leave the 76ers after the 2003 season, and replace Rick Carlisle as Detroit Pistons coach in one of the most controversial moves ever since Tampa Bay coach Tony Dungy, the man who skilled the Buccaneers self-respect and nutured them to the brink of glory, was replaced by Jon Gruden for the VERY FINAL Part of the championship quest. Carlisle had done nothing dishonest in Detroit except be real a good coach. Ancestors were comparable -- how is it Carlisle's fault that Chauncey Billups can't assume Jason Kidd? Except Larry Sunburned knew -- Billups was a follow player. Plus he knew a few clothes from recent developments in NBA history. Jason Williams of the Sacramento Kings was traded to Memphis for Mike Bibby, and inside a distinct season, the Kings were a Doug Christie three from the NBA Finals. This was in 2002. In that case in 2003, as the Pistons played the Nets, almost certainly the guy who looked all bit as dim as Allen Iverson looked awe-inspiring was Chauncey Billups.

Six days soon, a struggling Denver Nuggets team would trade their star -- an aging veteran named Allen the Pistons in exchange for Billups. With the Denver Nuggets would reach the Western Convention Finals for the first schedule in their history, and are today the only group in the West with a shot by the side of intriguing Kobe, Ariza, Odom, Artest and Gasol. Detroit meanwhile, swept in the first cycle by Lebron and the Cavaliers, would fail to attain the Eastern Convention Finals for the first time since 2003, a bar that had been achieved in the first position, with Billups on the helm.

Valentine's Calendar day, 1993 Newport News, Virginia

People came absent in droves wondering who was this kid who was merely zipping past each and every one these colossal kickoff teams enroute to arrive after stop. Who was this kid who was throwing 70-yard on-the-money passes, wholly befuddling the defense the rest of the way as they would immediately freeze similar to in Era After Tomorrow whenever he'd fake a overtake. Probability are...plugging cheery the holes and watching the sidelines weren't going to cut it -- this guy....IS IT A PASS OR A RUN WE CAN'T TELL YET!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!!

Well his name was Allen Iverson. Star of both the basketball and football teams. The 2001 MVP of the NBA could never be stopped by another man once a ball entered his hands of any kind. Iverson wouldn't of been stopped if they were playing at the bottom of a well. Every college wanted him, everybody knew of him. He had everything.

But that night of Valentine's Day, Iverson's public image was severely fractured when his friends got into it with some ruffians in a bowling alley. Several of the jerks they got into it with were white, so it's safe to say that when the n-word was uttered with the r at the end, it didn't come from AI's friends. Someone threw a table, someone else had a knife.

Iverson's crew was large, had cornrows, and this was Virginia. The charge was "lynching"! Two years later the same thing happened to Kevin Garnett in Maudlin, South Carolina. That's why his mom moved him to Chicago.

Iverson wasn't so lucky.

He got three months in a correctional center. On the bright side, I really doubt anybody saw him as they sat in their cell and went "fresh fish"

The governor pardoned him however, and he was freed. The problem was that NO DIVISION 1 schools were going to take a chance on this guy. He became a featured article in Sports Illustrated where they talked about a terrible guy he was. And his mom would work tirelessly to fix this.

She had managed to get the Virginia governor to listen to her, now she would use AI's media exposure to ease into the next task -- getting a new person to listen to her -- John Thompson of the Georgetown Hoyas.

And the rest was history.

Iverson was a two-time All-American at Georgetown. With Othella Harrington as his power forward, they dominated the ACC, running into roadblocks with Ray Allen's Connecticut Huskies and Tim Duncan's Wake Forest Demon Deacons who had the acrobatic and powerful Randolph Childress. But that didn't stop Iverson from taking these teams FIVE ON ONE. What he did to Tyronn Lue he would do regularly to four or five guys at once on a drive. Like Isiah Thomas long ago, it appeared that Iverson was BAITING each guy to guard him on his way to the basket, like it didn't count for two unless it happened over at least two defenders.

That's probably why in the pros, whenever triple teamed, rather then pass it, he'd attempt a three:)

Iverson was drafted Number 1 in the 1996 draft. The Philadelphia 76ers had been crappy all decade and even some time before. Charles Barkley becoming their star early on coupled with Julius Erving's old age was a disaster for 76ers fans, who watched the team take on the combined work ethic and age of it's stars. Barkley likes donuts, that's life. You can't change that. And Allen Iverson likes to simply play and not have to do homework.

This is why he could never practice.

Homework, studying, it's bogus.

He's ALLEN IVERSON!!!! Let all the kids who can't be AI instead DREAM of being AI while they do homework and studying!

As was his theory and mine.

Of course, Iverson's on the way out of the league, while I'm writing blogs at 8 in the morning instead of working.

During the first four years leading up to their loss to the Lakers, AI would undergo the worst kinds of growing pains, because he was not getting credit for all the things he could do. On the court, AI was the most disciplined, controlled professional in the history of the NBA. It's very possible that a bunch of average players can go without committing a single error during the course of the game as long as you listen to Larry Brown. This meant that AI, though scoring 50 points, was doing it his way and thus was cannon fodder for EVERY ERROR HE MADE.

Yet while Batman had his butler to talk to when things got tough, and Spider-Man had Aunt May, Allen Iverson...had his mom.

Mom," he'd say as a child. "I don't know what I'm gonna get to be when I grow up."

Well," she'd say. "That's easy. You're going to do what you want more then anything -- you're gonna be an NBA all-star."

"Come on mom," the youngster would reply. "Those guys are like one-in-a-million."

Exactly," she countered. "You ARE one-in-a-million."


The 76ers were awesome. At 11-0 they would be the last of the NBA's unbeaten. Iverson was the leader in points and steals. Philadelphia reveled in their new hero, and there was no mistaking his mom...front row at the What-Ever-It-Was-Called-After-The-Spectrum-And-Before-Wachovia...with a sweatshirt that read "AI'S MOM"

Harold Katz wondered what to do. This team was playing and winning like it was their year. But they had really nobody EXCEPT Allen Iverson. No Brian Skinner and Andre Igoudala yet. The others in Iverson's starting five were Todd McCullough at center, George Lynch at power forward, Aaron McKie at small forward, AI was the 2-guard, and Eric Snow of Michigan State who played with Sean Respert was their point. This team was good, but they just didn't look BIG enough. Not with guys like Shaq and David Robinson on the horizon.

Yet by February it had become obvious the 76ers were series. They had 40 wins before anybody. And so Katz went and got, for AI's belated Christmas present, Dikembe Mutumbo.

And the Philadelphia fans said YEEEEEEEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

For the rest of the season, Iverson and Mutombo would be awesome. And they finished as the first seed.

In round one, however, they ended up in a bitter bitter bitter fight with Indiana. Reggie Miller won Game 1 at the buzzer with a great three. Nobody could believe that this team that had lost Rik Smits, Chris Mullin, Dale Davis, Antonio Davis and Mark Jackson could actually be competive. Bird wasn't the coach, instead it was Isiah. Jermaine O'Neal would become famous in this series. Al Harrington and Johnathon Bender were babies. And Jalen Rose was the starting three guard.

But the 76ers won in five games. Just barely.

Next up was Toronto, and the marquee match-up between Allen Iverson and Vince Carter. In Canada, they tried to give Carter a nickname that would rival Allen Iverson's Answer. ESPN for a while told us that they decided on the Solution"


But the Solution would help the Raptors take Game 1. Iverson would have 55 in Game 2 and Carter would have 54 in Game 3. Philadelphia trailed the whole series and almost lost it at the buzzer in Game 7. Carter missed a shot that would have sent Toronto, unbelievably, to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Instead it was Philly, and Iverson would face his biggest test yet...

The Milwaukee Bucks consisted of a bunch of unsavory fellows who carried the added burden of being POSITIVE that the refs were going to screw them. They were so SURE that they would be treated like crap in this series. They were no-respect players from a city nobody in the world wants to visit. They were coached by George Karl who became Dennis Miller for the extent of the series in discussing the league's 10000% favoritism towards Philly. Their starting five was Glenn Robinson, Scott Williams, Jason Caffey (two former Bulls who had garnered the unfair and completely untrue reputations as hacks and goons), the viciously good Sam Cassell, and a guy that Iverson particularly wanted to play...Ray Allen.

Glenn Robinson at Purdue was one of the most dominating forces in college sports history. On the eve of a 90 million dollar payout before playing a single game in NBA, he threw a party in Milwaukee and charged people 100 dollars a head to get in. According to Sports Illustrated, the place was equipped for several thousand. Only about 50 people showed up.

Robinson's early season highlights in 94 were not flattering. As his tiny errors were magnified, Grant Hill and Jason Kidd got all the credit. Robinson, like Webber, had been expected to play center. But while Webber had troubles, Robinson was a consistent 21 points a game scorer. Yet all the hype from the last two paragraphs would cause the whole world to label him a bust.

Yet now he was in his prime, and ready to help Ray Allen win a championship. The Bucks were awesome in 2000-01, overshadowed ONLY by Allen Iverson's individual brilliance. Ray Allen had been perpetual obstacle in his way for a title. And they would each play the series of their lives.

They fought to death, forging a standstill after the first two games in Philly. But then the series went to Milwaukee and AI would get injured in a Bucks rout. It looked bad. The deep side-bruise that Iverson had encountered had eaten right at his jumpshot and his mobility.

And in Game 4, Iverson would score 46 points on his bad back to lead the Sixers to a tied series, officially etching his name in the 100-year history of Philadelphia sports lore. For they won in seven games, and little AI had taken the 76ers to the first NBA Finals since 1983. The NBA's Most Valuable Player and one of the most prolific and exciting players in the history of the sport.

And yet, he had the hardest time in the world trying to find a team that would take him in 2009.


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Basketball Passing

Basketball Passing 


A "nice pass" praise is probably one of the best compliments a player receives on the basketball court. A lot of basketball players try to get fancy with their passing, and more often than not, it confuses their teammates as well as the defense. The key to perfect passing is, in fact, simplicity. A good pass is smoothly handled and not forced. It is usually 12 - 18 feet (the longer ones can be easily intercepted) and is made with control.

Tips on Ball Passing

  1. Chest Pass - The chest pass is the most efficient way to throw the ball. Use it in order to get the ball to a teammate quickly when there is no defender in the way. You should step forward when you do this pass because you lose power by not stepping. However, passing without stepping is quicker. So just use your judgment to decide in each situation whether quickness or accuracy is more important.
  2. Bounce Pass - If you are in trouble with the ball and need to slip a pass by the defender to a teammate who can score, the bounce pass is the best option. It forces the defender to unnaturally tilt his torso in order to reach the ball as it is whizzing by, which makes it harder to intercept. It may look pretty cool to throw a bounce pass with fancy spinning, but that often brings a turnover instead of a good play. So unless you are Kobe Bryant or Chauncey Billups, try to resist the temptation and keep it simple.
  3. Overhead Pass - The overhead pass is the best way to pass the ball when the defense is in your face. You should also use it to feed the inside players and to get off an outlet pass after a rebound. Just remember that the pass is meant to be caught at chin level or above, so the receiver won't have to decide whether he should catch the ball with thumbs up or thumbs down. If the ball bears in on the receiver's waist, it basically handcuffs him.

Chris Paul's Crazy Bounce Pass

4. Side Pass - When there's a defender in front of you and another one bustling toward you, it is very difficult to throw a two-hand pass. What you need to do is getting around your defender and dumping the ball quickly with one hand. Decide whether you are throwing above or below your defender's arm, and fake the other way. When his arm goes down, pass the ball over it. When his arm goes up, slips a one-hand bounce pass under it.
5. Behind-The-Back Pass - Although the key to perfect passing is simplicity, there are rare times when a behind-the-back pass could be effective. Coaches usually approve it in two-on-one, fast-break situations. So try to do it right or don't do it at all. Keep in mind that when you do this pass, the power should come from your arm and fingers, NOT from turning your shoulders If you turn your shoulder, you basically give away that you're throwing a behind-the-back pass, and by the time the ball gets around your body, the defense would have cut in front of your target.

Basic Lay-ups

Basic Lay-ups

Lay-ups are the backbone of any team offense and every player's offensive repertoire. Without the threat of a lay-up, all other shots would become next to impossible. Just think, how you would defend if you knew that lay-ups were not allowed? What offense, what screens would be set, what dribble or one – on – one move would you make if you could not take a lay-up?

Interesting food for thought. Yet the lay-up is the shot we spend the least time on and the most technically ignored shot of all.

How do we make lay-ups?

I ask you, what part of the body allows you to make lay-ups? Your hand? Your arms? Your legs?

I think you make lay-ups with your eyes. With all that goes on around you during a basketball game, that activity level increases ten-fold as you get closer to the basket. There are more players, more defenders, more hands, and more contact the closer you get to the basket. The demand for your concentration goes up accordingly. No matter what else you do, you must keep your eyes on the prize. Block out all that is going on around you, and keep your eyes on the target until the ball comes through the net.

What is a lay-up

A lay-up is just what it sounds like: a shot where we lay the ball up on the backboard or over the rim and into the basket. It can be done forwards, backwards, or sideways. It is a lay-up just the same.

Teaching lay-ups

I am a big believer in visualization and pantomime when teaching new skills. They are especially effective techniques when teaching lay-ups.

When teaching new concepts of leg drive and follow-through while handling a basketball and trying to throw it through the basket, consider that it might be very difficult for young players to keep track of all the factors involved. You would be well advised to simplify the process by eliminating the ball at first.

Try these techniques without a ball.

  • Line up your team in rows.
  • On the command, ”Set”, have them stand with their left leg forward and their right leg extended straight back. Knees should be bent and hips low in an athletic posture.
  • On the command, “Drive,” have them step forward with their right leg, without taking their left foot off the floor, and drive their right knee in the air. The visualization phrase that I use is "Try to hit your nose with your knee."
  • After driving the right knee, talk a little about the feeling they get when they drive the knee. They should feel their whole body lifting.
  • Next, on the command “Drive,” combine the knee lift with a jump off the left leg. It might take a few reps to co-ordinate the knee drive with the jump but it will come quickly.
  • Next, give the command "Drive," and, at the appropriate time, add the command, "Shoot." Players then go into a right- handed shooting motion. Timing is important, as you want to shoot while the player is in the air. Emphasize holding the follow-through on the shot until after they return to the floor.
  • Next, in cadence, call, "Set, Drive, Shoot." Explain that this, when done with proper timing, is the action involved in taking a lay-up.
  • When you feel that the shooters are comfortable with the right hand, alter their stance and have them practice a left- handed lay-up motion.

Once you are comfortable with that action, go to the next step

  • On the command, ”Set”, have them stand with their left leg forward and their right leg extended straight back. Knees should be bent and hips low in an athletic posture.
  • On the command, “Step Back,” players step back with their left foot so it is extended straight back and the right foot is forward.
  • On the command, “Step,” players step forward with their left leg. Follow the, “Step,” command with, “Drive,” and, “Shot,” in cadence, to create the rhythm for taking an active lay-up.
  • When you feel it is proper, switch to a left handed lay-up.

Once you are comfortable with that action, go to the next step

  • On the command, ”Set”, have them stand with their left leg forward and their right leg extended straight back. Knees should be bent and hips low in an athletic posture.
  • On the command, “Step Back,” players step back with their left foot so it is extended straight back and the right foot is forward.
  • On the command, “Step Back,” players step back with their right foot so it is extended straight back and the left foot is forward.
  • On the command, “Step,” step forward with the right foot.
  • Add the command, "Dribble." Players will then imagine they are taking one dribble with their right hand. (This is a great opportunity to teach them about the rules concerning when the ball must be dribbled in order to move their pivot foot without traveling.)
  • Follow the "Dribble" command with, "Step," "Drive," "Shoot."
  • When said in the proper cadence and with proper timing; "Set," "Step Back," "Step Back," "Step," "Dribble," "Step," "Drive," "Shoot," will give players a basic feeling and rhythm for taking lay-ups, with and without a dribble

After they are good at taking lay-ups without a basket, move to a basket; teach them the proper angle to approach the basket; and go through the same sequences shooting right-handed and left-handed.

Once they are comfortable at the basket, give the players a ball and go through the same sequences.

Teaching Points

  • You make lay-ups with your eyes.
  • Shooting is about rhythm
  • The power to get the ball to the basket comes from your drive leg. Try to touch you nose with our knee.
  • Early in the process, success has to be defined in terms of correct form rather than made baskets.
  • Focus on the process, not the results. Younger kids may have problems with balance and strength. Don’t sacrifice form for made baskets

Tips on perfecting a basketball lay-up
Doing a basketball lay-up slowly with no defenders is very easy but not so when you are guarded.  Here are the tips for scoring in a lay-up under pressure

  1. Take BIG strides when you are carrying the ball for a lay up
  2. Glance at the hoop while you are carrying the ball towards the basketball hoop
  3. If you are driving full speed, convert the horizontal momentum to vertical by jumping higher before release
  4. Sometimes, changing your pace when taking the steps or power-hopping works well
  5. Place the upper arm of your non-dominant hand on the side to resist defender's pressure
  6. When you are about to get up in the air, turn your hip and upper back towards the defender to push yourself away
  7. Add a slight spin onto the ball to further reduce the horizontal force it carries

Basketball moves derived from the lay-up
Finger Roll: The most widely used lay-up method in basketball nowadays
Three Pointers: The threes seem to be a blessing when it comes to outscoring the opposition, but...
Reverse lay-up: two defenders jumps at you on the near side, go to the other side
Tear Drop: Oh yeah, make the hoop cry and make your defenders cry
Up-and-Under: The move spells out, "I refuse to commit myself."