How to Make Tough Layups: Incorporate the Mikan Drill into your Training Routine

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Unless you’re on a breakaway all by yourself, almost every layup you will take as a basketball player will be contested in some form or another.  Because of that, you need to do as many basketball drills as possible so that you can make those tough layups.  The Mikan Drill is a great way to practice these shots.  Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start underneath the basketball, facing the backboard.
  2. Begin by going to the left, taking a small step with your left foot followed by a big step with your right foot.  Drive up with your left knee and take the layup with your lefthand.
  3. Catch the ball as it is coming out of the net, then repeat by going to the other side.  Take a small step with your right foot, then a big step with your left, then power up with your right knee before laying the ball in with your right hand.
When you’re doing the Mikan drill, be sure to keep your arms up and your elbows out so that you can be stronger when you’re holding the ball.  This will make it much harder for players to knock the ball out of your hand in traffic.  Also make sure to rotate your wrist in as you shoot the ball because this will help give the ball spin in the right direction off the backboard.  If you rotate your wrist the wrong way then the ball will bounce straight back off the glass without coming near the basket.

The Mikan Drill is an effective basketball drill is because it gives you a lot of repetitions without taking a long time.  It’s easy to do, and you get immediate feedback about if you’re doing it right based on whether or not you make the layup.  There are other basketball drills that can help you with your scoring drills, though, like the Form Shooting Drill.

If you’re still having trouble with layups in traffic, or you want some new basketball drills to work on, you can always contact one of our private coaches.

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