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Help With Layups and Catching the Basketball


I coach 8th grade girls traveling basketball. My team is an average to above average team.

We are having a problem as of late making simple layups. My players are also having a problem holding onto the ball when a pass is thrown their way.

I have tried numerous basketball drills and it seems like it’s all in their head. In practice they are great. When it comes to crunch time it’s like they get rattled or scared.

For example, the other night in our basketball game we had a 7 point lead at halftime with 7 turnovers. We ended up losing by 9 and had 14 turnovers in the 2nd half.

Do you have any basketball tips that would help me?

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Jan 03, 2011
Making Layups
by: Anonymous This is a typical problem in middle school basketball. The biggest thing I have come to realize in my 11 years coaching basketball is that everything in practice has to be done at game speed as much as possible. Those mistakes come if they are not used to the same speed.

We do a lot of work with having girls shooting layups with a teammate on their hip running beside them and making some contact on the layup. We make them always start at the half-court line because it seems like we miss more layups coming from the other end than we do in our offense. It’s a little scary for them coming from so far away knowing that people are behind them and not sure where they are.

For catching the ball, we do a basketball drillthat they hate, but makes a difference. We call it QUICK HANDS. I have them stand on the end line, facing the wall, while I am at the top of the key. I will say BALL and have them turn around quickly and try to catch the ball. Start with easy passes until they get used to the drill and start picking up the speed. We do push-ups for every drop to help strengthen their hands. We also just do simple passing drills (four corner, shuffle passing down and back, partner passing, etc…).

Hope this helps and good luck with your basketball season!