Teaching Lay Up to Beginners

by Wim Cluytens
(Belgium)

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After several years of coaching youth and senior players, I am still looking for an answer on this (important) basketball question:


How do you start teaching lay ups: Everybody with their right hand or with their "strong" hand?

And especially I wonder how and when other basketball coaches start teaching the lay up with the weak hand?

Is this taught when the strong hand lay up is done perfectly?

Thank you in advance for your answer.

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Jan 28, 2011
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lay ups to beginners
by: Rod Fiddelke

Learning to shoot lay ups is not so much a shooting thing, but rather a jumping thing. So, start without a ball. Right handed....with feet shoulder width apart and the right foot eight inches behind let foot..... have the kid rock his weight back on his right foot. Then coming forward shift his weight to his left foot and jump off the left foot, (only) while reaching as high as he can with his right hand. Left handed? Switch the feet around and have him reach with the left hand. When he gets the feel of the jumping introduce a ball that is not to big for him to handle and instead of reaching have him throw the ball above him at a spot on the wall. Make sure he jumps off of the opposite foot he shoots with. Take it slow, he has to feel how to do it not learn how to do it.

Jul 21, 2009
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Be a marionette
by: Beaufort Bill

Often beginning players take off on the wrong foot. I teach them to think like a marionette with a string between their elbow and knee and when their shooting arm goes up it the knee and the push off occurs on the same side.

Also I start this movement from a stationary position 3-4 feet from the basket. You may also do a whole team drill with the entire team demonstrating the move without a ball.

At this time you should teach the 45 degree angle and the spot on the box to hit.

Jan 14, 2008
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Teaching the lay up.
by: Joe Waters - webmaster

Thanks for the basketball question Wim.

I always start with lay ups on the right side since most basketball players are right handed. However, I always work right and left handed lay-ups in every practice.

I think the weak hand lay up (as well as dribbling) should be taught at the beginning levels of youth basketball. This way, the players get comfortable and develop that "weak hand" so that as they get older, it is no longer weak.

Hope this helps answer your basketball question.


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