How to Do a Left Handed Layup

When it comes to playing basketball, the great players have as much dexterity and "game" with their left hand as they do their right. So if you are a right-handed player just learning the game of basketball, make sure you focus on your left hand as well too. Here are some tips on how to do a left-handed layup.

Things You'll Need

  • Basketball
  • Basketball court


    • 1

      Dribble the basketball back and forth between your left-hand and your right hand. As you stand at the top of the key, and the defender is guarding you, you don't want to give them any inclination about which way you are going to attack the basketball hoop.

    • 2

      Exploit the weakness of the defender. This could be them taking their eyes off you for a second or a team mate setting a screen. Whatever the case may be, the moment you see the opening drive to the basket, dribble the ball with your left hand.

    • 3

      Pick the basketball up once you are inside the key. Where you pick the basketball up depends on how long your legs are. People with shorter legs will be closer to the hoop and people with longer legs will pick the basketball up off the floor just after the foul line. The key is that you are approaching the hoop from the left side at about a 45-degree angle.

    • 4

      Plant your left foot on the ground. To avoid traveling (a violation in basketball) you need to do this as soon as you've picked the ball up off the floor.

    • 5

      Step on your right foot and push yourself into the air. At this point, you are suspended in the air with the basketball in your hands.

    • 6

      Transition the basketball from a two-handed grip so that just your left hand is holding the basketball. This will happen in mid-air as you raise the ball above your left shoulder. (Prior to this point you want two hands on the basketball so it lessens the chance of a defender knocking it out of play.)

    • 7

      Release the ball by "laying it" (hence the term layup) and ultimately into the hoop. Aim for the left side of the square on the backboard. Remember that your body has quite a bit of momentum so you don't need to really "shoot the ball." The physics of the game should easily glide your ball into the net.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are right-handed, practice shooting left-handed layups until you are equally adept at both. The layup is an important part of the game which accounts for about 30 percent of the scoring on average.
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