Basketball: Layups Are The Key

Why Can’t People Get This?

Working on layups at

I read Coach Mac’s Daily Mail from a coach in Australia that talks about different topics going on in basketball especially youth league basketball. I saw the title, “Successful Teams Makes This Shot 9% More.” I assumed it would be the free throw, but it totally makes sense that it would be a layup. 

The Study

There was a study that I have made on my podcast National Sports Overtime a couple months ago. Let’s talk about it again. In the 2018 season, Hudl Assist that a lot of teams use broke down the the stats of 10,000 high school basketball games. They created a performance report that shared the exact statistics that they felt had the biggest impact on winning and losing. This is a treasure trove of information especially for a newer or younger coach because you may “think” you discovered something, but it has been used for years. Usually you aren’t doing anything new. It’s went through it’s cycle and now something else has caught on.

This study highlighted that “Winning teams shoot successful layups 9% more than losing team.” They cite these averages in high school basketball: 

Winning Teams = 53.37

Losing Teams = 44.31%

Just think how big the difference is in middle school or in the youth leagues (midget leagues). Their games are full of missed layups. What about high school teams that only shoot 3’s? Well other teams may be shooting a higher percentages against them? Is that how they are beating your team?

Working Both Offense and Defense

Now what does this all mean? More layup lines? NO. Please don’t. An eight year old can make an uncontested layup in a layup line and look good doing it. However, can the 18 year old senior make a tightly contested layup in the rival’s gym with a minute left? Practice like you play. So this means more 1 on 1 games or 3 on 3 small side games. You have to make your practices competitive. Don’t let your teammates or your players not working on making the team’s goals. Push them. Players have to get used to pressure and be able to finish their layup against defenders bumping and banging…yes, even fouling without reacting.

Many coaches, teams and parents will only concentrate on offense, but work the defense too. Make sure that the defense is doing their footwork correctly, rotating correctly and talking because your rival will be. Practice like you play and push each other. It’s the only way to get better.

Please don’t spend a lot of time in your practice with orange cones out in the floor, garbage cans, dribbling tennis balls and other objects that can’t move or don’t make sense. Play against live defense and work on both. Have one coach working offense and one working defense with the lead coach watching the big picture.

This is just my thoughts on the matter. Please follow There are five podcasts and articles of varied lengths about a variety of topics. Check the Pro Wrestling Calendar for upcoming TV and PPV events plus the HS scoreboard for West Virginia Sports. I’m looking forward to talk to you real soon.

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