Tips To Make Lay-ups and Inside Shots

Tips To Make Lay-ups and Inside Shots

Star Shooter Report – 1st Edition

Remedy: Four Keys to Improve Lay-Up and Short Distance Success.

1. Practice “no iron” lay-ups and bank shots – those that touch Nothing but Net.

2. Focus on the upper half of the vertical line before, during, and after the release.

NOTE: In games, most athletes release the ball without a focus point.

3. Practice must simulate game conditions and must be performed at game speed.

4. The athlete must MAKE 5 successful attempts in a ROW.


Reason for “No Iron” attempts: No iron lay-ups and bank shots force the shooter to make the ball strike backboard with less force. With short distance shots, this is best accomplished with increased arc. The advantage gained is that a perfect swisher has a greater margin of error. Since the rim is 18” in diameter and the ball is 9” in diameter, a ball falling through the basket perfectly in the middle has 4.5 inches all around it. In contrast, when the ball strikes the front of the rim after coming off the backboard and then falls in the basket, the margin of error is “zero”.


Laser Pointer Drill makes athletes focus on the vertical line for short bank shots: A coach or teammate stands on the free throw line with a laser pointer. The athlete is in post-up position, back to the basket, and straddling the first line above the block. Begin simple. Have them toss the ball in the air, catch, turn, and score. As this action is performed, the laser beam should be going either “back and forth” quickly across the white vertical line or “up and down” quickly. The athlete must identify the movement of the laser by saying the word, “cross” – meaning the laser is moving back and forth across the white line, or “up” – meaning the laser in moving up and down. Next, add a defender who pushes and shoves using a football blocking pad and then, add an entry pass from outside the arc.


Laser Pointer Drill makes athletes focus on the vertical line for lay-ups: For this drill, the coach works the laser the same as above BUT stands several feet BEHIND the backboard to not obstruct the path to the basket. Follow a 3 step progression. Note how game speed is achieved. 1) Start from the 3-point line using 1 or 2 dribbles, 2) from mid-court using 3 dribbles and a defender chasing, 3) from the backcourt end-line allowing 4 seconds to score while the coach counts down 4-3-2-1.

NOTE: The full court 4 second drill teaches athletes not to panic with very little time left. High school athletes should be able to go full court and take a good shot in 4 seconds or less.