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Basketball Combination Drills - Atomic Lay-up Drill

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This is a great drill for teaching your team to get the ball up the court quickly after a rebound, on a made basket or against a press that does not protect against the long pass. It also helps improve arm strength, hand eye coordination for catching a long pass while running down the court, converting on a fast break, and is a good camouflaged conditioner.


Form two lines with your team on the endline under the basket. Each person in your passing line has a basketball. Either line can be the passing line. The passing line dribbles to approximately the elbow at the foul line. Here he/she stops and makes the pass. The pass can either be a baseball pass or two handed over the head (soccer style) pass depending on arm strength. The shooter starts on the opposite side of the court on the same end line as the passer. When the passer starts his dribble, the shooter sprints down the floor taking an appropriate angle toward the basket. He/she catches the pass and takes it in for a lay-up. Ideally you would like the shooter to only have to dribble once, if at all. After he passes it, the passer sprints down and rebounds any miss by the shooter. The pair stays on that end of the court until both lines have went all the way through. Then the passer becomes the shooter and vice versa.

Number of Players:



Emphasize a made basket every time as it is no use to beat the other team down the floor with a good pass just to miss the lay-up. Also ensure drill is executed at full speed to simulate the game pressure of having to catch the pass and make the lay-up with the defense coming up from behind. Finally, I usually stand in the middle of the floor in the circle with my arms up and try to intercept any poorly or low thrown balls. This teaches the passer to put just enough arc on the ball to get it over the defense, but to much to make it a 'balloon' pass.


One variation is to have a defender start along side the shooter and when the shooter gets to the foul line have the defender begin to give chase. This adds to the realism of having the defense right on your heals. It pushes the shooter to run just a little faster and the passer to make sure he hits his receiver on time, not having him waiting on the other end of the court for the ball.

Another variation is for the coach to shoot (missing intentionally), have one player rebound, outlet to the passer who then passes to the shooter streaking down the court.

The third variation is for the coach to make a basket and have a person practice pulling the ball out of the net getting out of bounds and then outletting to the passer.


Fast Break, Passing, Conditioning


This basketball drill is licensed under a Creative Commons License. This drill is from Pål Degerstrøm at www.degerstrom.com/basketball.

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