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Basketball Finishing Drills for Coaches

Basketball Finishing Drills

Finishing around the basket is something that players of all sizes and positions should spend time working on. Depending on size and athleticism, it will be naturally easier for some players to be better finishers than others. However, a player who knows how to use their body and can be crafty can be a high-level finisher regardless of size. And that is exactly what these basketball finishing drills are going to work on.

They will work on finishing as a whole, but also a variety of specific finishes. Players and teams will be able to work on finishes like the floater, Pro Hop, Euro Step, and more. These basketball drills will have everything that you need to work on finishing.

From being able to finish well with either hand to having a soft touch, multiple factors go into being a good finisher. All of these basketball finishing drills will work on these different aspects. Also, many of these drills will incorporate a move or two before the actual finish. This will allow players to work on getting by their defender and then getting right into a finish, which is more game-like. This is also going to allow for working on ball-handling as well.

All of these finishing basketball drills are going to include a training video as well. This is going to allow you not only better to understand the drill but also the details of the drill. An expert coach will explain all of the teaching points of the drill, and a player(s) will demonstrate it as they do. This is going to allow for mastery of different moves and finishes.


The Importance of Basketball Finishing Drills

As a basketball coach, you want your team to take high percentage shots. Well, it doesn’t get more high percentage than right at the basket. And, while it would be nice to do layup lines the whole game, a good team defense in basketball will do their best to keep you from finishing at the basket. That is why you must work on different finishing moves with your players.

Your players need to be taught the move and have the chance to get quality repetitions using it. These basketball finishing drills will allow you all the opportunities you need to work on finishing. Depending on how many baskets you have, they can be scaled up or down depending on the number of players in the gym. Also, it doesn’t have to require a lot of time either. With several of these basketball finishing drills, you will be able to get in a lot of quality repetitions without it taking up too much of your practice time.

As a basketball coach, you don’t want to leave any points on the board. That is why you must be consistently spending time with your team working on finishing. Also, the more you teach your players to attack the basket, the more fouls you will draw on the defense. This will allow for more trips to the free-throw line and even more high percentage scoring opportunities.


Basketball Finishing Drills Teaching Points

Along with taking advantage of all of the different basketball finishing drill videos, here are some teaching points that will go along with finishing at a high-level. These different teaching points will be essential for basketball players working on their own or a coach looking to instruct their team better.


Know When to Use Each Type of Finish

Finishing for most players isn’t about being able to “out-athlete” the defense. It is going to be about reading the situation and then making the correct move. So not only does a player need to know how to make a move, but they also need to know when to use it. The better a player can recognize and anticipate when to use a specific finish, the more effective it will be. This also means that the player needs to have mastered a variety of different types of finishes.


Quality Finishing Repetition

Finishing is similar to shooting a basketball in that it requires both great touch and muscle memory to be good at it. This only happens, though, with quality repetition. If a player or team as a whole wants to be good at finishing, the time needs to be put in. Becoming a high-level finisher doesn’t just happen on its own. So make sure that you are spending the needed time working on all of these different basketball finishing drills.


Mastering the Fundamentals

Finishing technique has been mentioned a few times already, but it is worth mentioning again as a teaching point. The better a basketball player can learn how to use their body, read angles, and master an arsenal of finishes, the easier it will be to finish around the basket. Before spending hours and hours working on different finishes, make sure you study the right way to execute them first. Each drill will breakdown the different moves, but our basketball fundamentals section will really help with learning a new finish. So make sure that you check out the “How to” videos that are offered there as well.


Develop Both Hands Equally

As a finisher, you must be able to finish well with either hand. If you are only one hand dominant, the defense will force you to your weak hand. This will end up in drastically lower percentage finishes. So you must be spending time working on both hands. You may even want to solely work on your weak hand development at the start, depending on how much work it needs.


Must-Use Basketball Finishing Drills

These basketball finishing drills will allow you to teach your team how to better finish around the basket. They will also cover a variety of different types of finishes. So whether you are working with your guards, wings, or post players, you can find the right finishing basketball drills within our large database of basketball training videos.


Drill # 1: 5 Dribble Kickout and Repost Basketball Finishing Drill


5 Dribble Kickout Repost Basketball Finish Drill


A big part of playing in the post in basketball is positioning. The deeper you can catch the ball and bury the defender under the basket, the better chance you will have of getting a finish or being fouled and put on the line. Sometimes, the defense will do a good job of pushing the offensive player farther out than they want to be on the catch.

When this happens, a great option is to kick the ball out and immediately repost and try to get deeper positioning. This post-move basketball drill will work on this exact situation and incorporate a ball-handling aspect to the basketball drill as well.




Basketball Drill Overview

Drill Name: 5 Dribble Kickout and Repost Basketball Finishing Drill

Equipment Needed: 1 basketball, a post defender, a passer, and a pad.


Goals of the Drill

  • Work on handling the ball in the post and finishing off of a repost.


Coaching Points

  • Stay in an athletic stance the whole time and keep your eyes up seeing the floor when you handle the ball.
  • Make an aggressive and explosive move on the finish.
  • Show your hands when looking to receive the post entry pass.


Basketball Drill Instructions

  • The player is going to start a couple of feet off of the block with the basketball.
  • The post defender will be behind them, and the passer will be out on the wing.
  • When the drill starts, the player will drop into an athletic stance and then take 5-pound dribbles while the post defender is pushing on them with the pad.
  • After the 5th dribble, the player is going to kick the ball out to the passer.
  • Immediately after kicking the ball out, the player will look to repost and get a deeper position.
  • The passer will enter the ball, and the post player will drop step and attack to the middle for a hook shot.
  • If the player misses, they will jump up and look to tip the ball back in.
  • Reset and repeat this same action, or have the next player in line go.



Drill #2: Two Ball Same Side Mikan Basketball Drill


Two Ball Same Side Mikan Basketball Drill


Finishing around the basket with a soft touch is something that some players are naturally gifted with, while some players have to spend more time working at it. Regardless of whether a player is naturally gifted or not, they can always improve their finishing and touch around the basket.

It is also important that regardless of size or position, players are spending time finishing around the basket. Obviously, bigger guards or post players are going to get more opportunities at it, but that doesn’t mean that smaller guards can’t be working on finishing around the basket as well and becoming elite at it. If you look at players like Kyrie Irving, Steph Curry, and Chris Paul, you will see that they are all high-level finishers, even though they are some of the smallest players on the floor.

This basketball drill will allow a player to get a lot of quick quality finishing reps around the basket. The finishes will also come from multiple different angles and develop both hands equally at the same time, allowing players to develop confidence in both hands. The two basketballs will also help the player improve their hand-eye coordination as well. So along with finishing, this is a great drill to help develop a player’s hands.



Basketball Drill Overview

Drill Name: Two Ball Same Side Mikan Basketball Drill

Equipment Needed: Two basketball and a hoop.

Goals of the Drill

  • Work on finishing around the basket from a variety of different angles.
  • Practice coming into finishes with a variety of different footwork.
  • Develop touch and confidence around the basket.
  • Develop light and quick feet when finishing.
  • Get a bunch of quality finishing repetitions in a short period of time.


Coaching Tips

  • Players need to do their best to get a good rhythm going.
  • A big part of the drill is touch, so make sure that the player controls the basketball up and finishes with a soft touch each time.
  • Footwork needs to be light and quick, so make sure that you are holding your players accountable.
    • A great way to tell if a player is heavy-footed is the sound that their feet are making during the drill.
    • If a player has light, quick feet, you won’t really hear them at all.
  • Challenge players to get out of their comfort zone and go at a speed that will push them to get better.


Basketball Drill Directions

  • The player will start with a basketball in each hand on the right side of the basket.
  • When the drill starts, the player will jump off of their left foot and lay up the basketball in their right hand.
  • They will then pass the basketball in their left hand to their right hand, rebound the first basketball out of the net with their left hand, and then repeat the layup motion with their right hand.
  • The player will continue this pattern for the desired amount of repetitions or time.
  • After completing the desired reps or time, they will switch sides of the basket and the hand they finish with.
  • You can also do this drill, jumping off the same foot as the hand you are laying the ball up with.


Recommended Time, Steps, Scoring, and Repetitions

  • The player can work on layups with traditional footwork or same foot, same hand finishes. Both are going to be great for working on finishing from different angles.
  • The drill can go for a set amount of time, a set number of shots, or a set number of makes. A set number of makes is typically the best way to do it as it gives the player a goal to aim for. Typically ten total makes per type of finish is a good number to set.
    • Another way you could do it as well is to have every miss be worth a negative point. For example, if the player has already made four and misses, they now only have three total makes.
  • If you have multiple players going at the same time, you could do a challenge to see who can reach a certain number of makes first.



Drill #3: How to Do a Decelerated Euro Step in Basketball


How to Do a Decelerated Euro Step in Basketball


The decelerated Euro step is a great basketball move to use in transition when you have a bigger, more athletic shot blocker trying to run you down or when you have an over-aggressive defender on your hip. Using this move allows the defender to run past you, leaving the basket open for the layup, runner, or floater. This is one of the basketball fundamentals of finishing around the basket, and every guard/wing player should take the time to learn this move.

This basketball training video will be taught by an expert coach and then demonstrated by a high-level player. This will allow you to see the correct way to do the move and learn some of the tips for really selling the move. So make sure to really lock in on the details of the move.



Basketball Drill Overview

Drill Name: How to Do a Decelerated Euro Step in Basketball

Equipment Needed: 1 basketball and a basket.


Goals of the Drill

  • Learn the right footwork for the decelerated Euro step and how to finish around the basket.


Coaching Points

  • Visualize the defender trying to run you down and block your shot.
  • Really try to change up your speeds and sell the move.
  • Protect the basketball when you make the move.


Basketball Drill Instructions

  • Drive to the basket with your right or left hand at 3/4 to full speed.
  • When you make your move, you will plant with your outside foot and try to decelerate your entire body.
  • Step laterally to your other foot and either bring the ball over top or cradle it as you do.
    • Protect the basketball from getting stripped.
  • Shoot a floater/runner off of the foot that you just stepped to.
  • Hold your follow-through and stay in your shot until you make or miss.



Why Basketball Finishing Drills

Basketball finishing drills play a pivotal role in shaping a team’s offensive efficiency. For any basketball coach, the emphasis on executing finishing drills cannot be overstated; these drills are the building blocks that transform promising plays into scoreboard changes. By honing the art of finishing in basketball, players develop the ability to consistently convert opportunities under pressure, ensuring that precious scoring chances such as layups are not squandered. Engaging in basketball finishing drills equips players with the agility, precision, and composure needed to outmaneuver defenders and retain control in the split-second moments that define tight games. Consequently, coaches who prioritize these drills witness their teams exhibiting poise and potency around the basket—a decisive factor that can elevate their squad from being contenders to champions.



Basketball Finishing Drill Tips

Basketball finishing drills are essential in developing players’ skills to score near the basket. These drills help improve a player’s footwork, body control, and overall scoring ability. As a basketball coach, it is crucial to incorporate various finishing drills into your practice sessions to help your players become more efficient scorers.

Here are some tips for coaches when implementing basketball finishing drills:

  • Start with the basics: Before introducing more advanced finishing drills, make sure your players have a solid understanding of the fundamental techniques for scoring near the basket. This includes proper footwork, body positioning, and using both hands to finish.
  • Incorporate game-like scenarios: To prepare your players for real-game situations, it is important to include finishing drills that mirror what they will encounter on the court. For example, a drill that simulates driving to the basket with defenders present.
  • Emphasize footwork: Footwork is crucial in finishing near the basket. Encourage your players to use different footwork techniques, such as jump stops and euro steps, to create space and get past defenders.
  • Vary finishes: It is essential to practice a variety of finishes, including layups, floaters, and reverse layups. This will make your players more versatile and unpredictable on the court.
  • Incorporate resistance: To simulate game-like contact, use resistance bands or have a defender apply light pressure during finishing drills. This will help improve body control and the ability to finish through contact.
  • Focus on both hands: Encourage your players to use both hands when finishing near the basket. This will make them more effective scorers and help prevent defenders from anticipating which hand they will use.
  • Track progress: Keep track of your players’ progress and improvement in finishing drills. This will not only motivate them but also allow you to identify areas that need more work.
  • Make it competitive: Adding an element of competition to finishing drills can make them more engaging for players. Consider keeping score or timing the drills to add a sense of urgency and intensity.
  • Use cones or markers: Incorporate cones or other markers on the court to simulate defenders and create specific scoring angles for your players. This will also help improve their spatial awareness and decision-making.
  • End with a scrimmage: After practicing different finishing drills, end your session with a scrimmage that allows players to apply what they have learned in a game-like setting.

These tips can help coaches effectively incorporate finishing drills into their practice sessions. Remember to also provide positive reinforcement and constructive feedback to your players as they work on improving their skills. With consistent practice and guidance, your players will become more confident and efficient scorers near the basket. So, keep challenging them with new finishing drills to help them reach their full potential on the court. Keep in mind that these finishing drills should be used as a supplement to other fundamental skills training and should not replace it entirely. By combining proper footwork, body positioning, and using both hands in finishing drills, coaches can help their players become well-rounded and effective scorers near the basket. With dedication and hard work, your team will be able to dominate near the rim and score more points during games.



Basketball Finishing Drills Frequently Asked Questions

How do you train to finish basketball?

To enhance your ability to successfully complete plays in basketball, focus on refining the following finishing techniques:

Focusing on these specific finishes can significantly improve your scoring efficiency around the basket.

  • Traditional Layup: Master the basic layup technique, using the correct footwork and timing.
  • Two-Foot Finish: Practice jumping off both feet for a balanced and powerful finish at the rim.
  • Floater: Develop your touch with floaters, perfect for getting the ball over taller defenders.
  • Jump Stop and Step Through: Work on stopping abruptly with a jump stop and then stepping through for a closer shot.
  • Pro Hop: Improve your ability to create space with a pro hop, allowing for a clear shot near the basket.
  • Stride Stop and Reverse Pivot (“Rondo”): Hone your skills in making a stride stop followed by a reverse pivot for a deceptive move.
  • Stride Stop, Reverse Pivot, and Step Through: Combine the stride stop and reverse pivot with an additional step through to outmaneuver defenders.
  • Off-Foot Finish: Practice shooting with the opposite foot forward, adding unpredictability to your finishing moves.


How can I improve my finishing in basketball?

To elevate your finishing skills in basketball, it’s vital to simulate game conditions during practice. This involves executing drives towards the basket with intensity and envisioning a real-game scenario where you’re making those crucial finishes. A professional tip to further refine your touch and finesse around the rim is mastering the art of spinning the ball off the backboard. This technique can significantly enhance your ability to score under pressure.


What is finishing in basketball?

In basketball, “finishing” refers to a player’s ability to approach the basket and successfully complete the play with a variety of shots. These shots include layups, euro steps, pro-hops, jump-stop power finishes, floaters, push shots, among many others. Essentially, finishing encompasses a wide array of moves that a player can utilize to score when close to the basket. To delve deeper into the diverse range of finishing techniques available, exploring dedicated resources can provide valuable insights and guidance.


How do you finish traffic in basketball?

“Finishing traffic” in basketball refers to the ability to score while facing multiple defenders near the basket. This can be a challenging situation for players, as it requires quick decision-making and precise footwork. To improve your ability to finish in traffic, focus on developing your body control and balance through drills that involve contact and simulated game scenarios. Additionally, practicing moves such as the pro hop, jump stop and step through, and off-foot finishes can provide players with the necessary tools to navigate traffic and convert scoring opportunities.


How many hours a day should I train basketball?

The amount of time a player should dedicate to basketball training can vary depending on individual goals and circumstances. However, as a general guideline, it is recommended to train for at least 1-2 hours per day, focusing on various aspects such as shooting, ball-handling, and finishing. It’s also essential to have rest days in between to allow the body to recover and avoid burnout. Additionally, incorporating strength and conditioning training can greatly benefit a player’s overall performance on the court.


What is the fastest way to get better at basketball?

To rapidly enhance your basketball skills, incorporating strength training, plyometric exercises, and specific drills designed to boost your speed, agility, reaction time, and hand-eye coordination is essential. No matter which strength and conditioning routine you adopt, always prioritize maintaining proper form and technique to maximize effectiveness and prevent injuries.


How to do Mikan drill?

The Mikan drill is a popular basketball finishing drill that focuses on developing proper footwork and touch around the basket. To perform the Mikan drill, follow these steps:

  • Begin under the basket with a ball in hand.
  • Take one step out towards the baseline with your right foot and lay the ball up off the backboard with your right hand.
  • Immediately rebound the ball with your left hand and take one step back towards the center of the basket.
  • Lay the ball back up off the backboard with your left hand.
  • Continue this pattern, alternating hands and taking one step out each time until you reach the other baseline.
  • Repeat for a predetermined number of repetitions or time duration.

Remember to focus on proper footwork, using both hands to finish, and maintaining a quick pace to challenge yourself. Utilizing this drill regularly can significantly improve your finishing skills in basketball.


How can I improve my layup package?

To enhance your layup package, consider incorporating the following tips into your training:

  • Master the basic layup technique with both hands to have a strong foundation.
  • Develop your off-hand finishes by practicing with your non-dominant hand.
  • Add variety to your layups by incorporating different footwork and finishes, such as the pro hop or euro step.
  • Practice at game-speed and incorporate simulated game scenarios to improve decision-making and reaction time.
  • Work on developing a soft touch around the rim by using the backboard and practicing floaters.

By consistently training and challenging yourself with various layup finishes, you can expand your layup package and become a more versatile player on the court. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different moves and continuously work on refining your layup skills. Always remember, practice makes perfect! Keep pushing yourself and never stop learning in your basketball journey. There’s always room for improvement, so keep striving to be the best player you can be.



More Basketball Finishing Drills


1. Triangle Finishing Drill

This drill focuses on developing finishing skills from a variety of angles and positions around the basket. It involves three players forming a triangle around the hoop, with one player as the passer and two players as finishers. The passer will pass the ball to either of the two finishers, who must then quickly execute a layup or a jump shot while under pressure from the defender. The players in this drill should rotate positions to practice finishing from different angles and improve their footwork.


2. Chair Finishing Drill

This drill is designed to simulate game-like scenarios where players must finish around obstacles. Place chairs or cones around the basket, creating an obstacle course for the player attempting to score. The player must use their creativity and agility to finish around the chairs or cones while maintaining control of the ball. This drill helps players develop quick decision-making and finishing skills in tight spaces.


3. Mikan Drill

The Mikan drill is a classic basketball finishing drill that focuses on developing footwork, coordination, and touch around the basket. It involves starting under the basket and alternating layups with each hand, gradually moving further away from the hoop. This drill is an excellent way to improve players’ ability to finish with both hands and develop muscle memory for precise finishing around the rim.


4. Full-Court Finishing Drill

This drill simulates game-like conditions and helps players develop their finishing skills in transition. It involves players starting at one end of the court and sprinting towards the other end, where they must finish at the basket while under pressure from a defender. This drill not only improves finishing skills but also helps players develop their speed and endurance on the court.


5. One-on-One Finishing Drill

This drill pits two players against each other in a one-on-one situation, with one player starting at the top of the key and the other at the baseline. The player at the top must drive towards the basket while under pressure from the defender and attempt to finish at the rim. This drill works on players’ ability to create their own shots in game situations and develop a competitive edge.



Basketball Finishing Drills for Coaches Conclusion

Incorporating a variety of finishing drills into your training routine is crucial for developing well-rounded players. These drills not only improve finishing skills, but also help players develop agility, coordination, speed, and decision-making abilities on the court. As a coach, it is essential to continuously challenge your players and incorporate new techniques to keep them improving. So try out these drills and see the results for yourself. Keep working hard, and never stop striving to be the best on the court! Remember, perfect practice makes perfect. Keep pushing yourself and your team towards excellence in basketball. The journey may not always be easy, but it will always be worth it. Let’s keep improving together!

Remember to prioritize proper technique, footwork, and hand usage when practicing these drills. And don’t forget to have fun while challenging yourself and your teammates to become better players. With dedication and hard work, your layup package will continue to improve and elevate your game on the court. So keep practicing, keep learning, and keep pushing yourself towards greatness in basketball!



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