Lay-up Drill with Give and Go, Post Exercises

Notice: This article was written by Steve Jordan, Coach's Notebook. Email the author at

Setup: This drill starts with 2 lines. Split the team evenly and make two lines at the points where the free throw boundaries meet the baseline; two more players near the halfcourt line. Essentially, the two right side lines will work together and the two left side lines will work together. The right side has a ball and the left side has a ball. One important factor is the left and right sides will need to time their delivery so they don't collide near the basket. This is a good thing because it forces the players to concentrate.

Benefits: Players learn passing, receiving, handoff, cutting and shooting skills. This drill offers a lot of flexibility in the passing angles and shot types. As always, proper execution is much more important than speed or changing the drill.

Pitfalls: Players making lazy passes and taking a slow approach to the basket. Watch out for ambiguous cuts. Make L cuts and V cuts instead. Post players being careless with the ball. An option is to put a defensive player on the post (a good role for a coach who is otherwise not involved in the drill. Insist that lay-ups be initiated from the proper foot, for example and that V and L cuts are sharp, not rounded. Perform the drill as if it were a game situation. If players are struggling with timing, then slow it down and gradually speed it back up.

Here are some links to other layup drills on this site:

Lay up Drills I
Lay up Drills II
Lay up Drills III
Lay up Drills IV
Lay up Drills V


Diagram 1

Players 2 and 6 each have a basketball. 

Player 2 passes to Player 1 and quickly  moves to the right elbow. At this point, Player 2 is playing high post.

Player 6 does the same thing as Player 2, but just a second  later. Timing is important so there are no collisions later at the basket.

Insist that passes are sharp and that players hustle.

Note that players 3 and 7 have basketballs, too. This drill can be run with four basketballs. But ... expect some wild action!


Diagram 2

Player 1 passes the ball back to Player 2, then makes a cut to the basket. There is much room for creativity. Player 2 can return the ball at any point, not just the angle shown here. Also, Player 1 can (and should) vary the approach to the basket. That not only means the cut angle, it also means going on either side of the post. Very importantly, it means moving one way as a fake and then reversing direction to cut past the post.

Player 2 should be encouraged to add fakes and variety to the passes. For instance, fake a pass to the front and then pass just the cutter goes by.

If the cutter fakes left, then goes right, for example, it's a real nice touch if the post fakes a pass left as well.



Diagram 3

The rotations are pretty simple. Player 1 continues to the left line after making the layup.

Player 2 moves out to take Player 1's place.

Player 3 has stepped out to get the rebound/made shot.

The left side mirrors the action on the right side, just a second later.

Player 3 passes to Player 2, then becomes the high post. Everything repeats. While the drill is simple, the players can make it fun and beneficial by trying new angles and shots. They can shoot jumpers or lay ups. Of course, the coach can stipulate certain practice points and emphasize particular shots and skills.

The post can also set up low on the blocks.