Finishing through contact in basketball is an essential skill for any player, as it is a game of speed and physicality. To be an effective basketball finisher, a player must know how to use their body to absorb contact from the defense and maintain their speed and angle toward the basket to create a high percentage scoring opportunity. Once an offensive player has the defender on their hip, their goal is to cut off the angle of the defense to take away space; and then get to the basket for an uncontested finish. In attacking the basket and cutting off the angle, the offensive player will need to go against contact while maintaining their balance and focus on the basket to finish successfully.
By incorporating a defender, this basketball finishing drill will force the offensive player to develop the skills necessary to use their body and strength to create the best angle to finish at the basket. This basketball drill will allow players to work on their ball-handling with pressure while varying the angle of the drive and types of finishes. Finishing with pressure and contact is a crucial skill for any player, and this drill will help develop that ability.
Basketball Drill Overview
Drill Name: Pressure Layups Basketball Finishing Drill
Equipment Needed: 1 basketball, a partner, 4 cones (optional), a passer (optional), timer/clock (optional).
Similar Basketball Drills and Resources
- 3 Bounce Crossover Basketball Dribbling Drill
- Off-Hand Basketball Drill
- Ball Protection Basketball Finish Drill
Goals of the Drill
- Work on ball handling and finishing through contact.
- Create driving angles to gain an advantage when a defender is on your hip.
- Keep hips down to stay low, on balance, and play from a position of strength.
- Use your body to absorb contact from the defender while maintaining your dribble.
- Dribble the basketball with your outside hand (away from the defender) to protect the ball.
- On the first dribble, try to cut off the defender on your hip and give yourself a better angle as you attack the basket.
- This dribble is referred to as a “trap dribble.”
- Keep your eyes on the basket.
- On the power finish, make sure to jump up, not out.
- This will allow you to finish through the contact more effectively.
Basketball Drill Instructions
- Set up four cones around the perimeter at the 3 point line.
- The offensive player will start with the basketball at one of the cones on the 3 point line (you can decide where the player starts).
- The defensive player will start next to the offensive player on their inside hip, even with them.
- The offensive player will drive to the basket and finish off of two feet.
- While the offensive player is driving to the basket, the defensive player will be creating contact on the hip by using their forearm.
- The offense will start with a slight advantage, as it will be token defense, but the defender is trying to ride the offensive player away from the basket.
- Once the player finishes at the basket, the defensive player will get the rebound and dribble back out to the starting cone. The players will reset and switch offense and defense before the next repetition.
- Each player will do two repetitions with their non-dominant hand and one repetition with their dominant hand at each cone.
Recommended Time, Scoring, and Repetitions
- This basketball drill uses four spots on the perimeter along the 3 point line. Each offensive player will do three repetitions at each spot; two with their non-dominant hand and one with their dominant hand.
- To add competitiveness to the drill, each player could keep track of their makes/misses, and the player with more makes is the winner.
- You could also change the number of repetitions at each cone or set the drill up for a specific amount of time and see how many finishes the players can achieve in that time.
- Another way to make the drill more game-like would be to start with the offensive player catching the ball off a pass from the perimeter. You would need another player or coach to make this pass.
- Instead of having the cones at the 3 point line, you could extend them 2-3 feet beyond the 3 point line; this would add a greater distance for the offensive player to drive versus the contact.
- Lastly, you could have players vary their finishes around the basket. For example, they could power off two feet, reverse and power off two feet, stride, stop and step through, etc.
Pressure Layups Basketball Finishing Drill Conclusion
Great finishers can maintain balance, strength, and absorb contact against a defender while driving to the basket. A player that does not shy away from contact but instead uses it to their advantage by creating a driving angle and an effective scoring opportunity will be a valuable asset for any basketball offense. When players can effectively attack versus pressure, this forces the defense to adjust, which is usually less aggressive.
This Pressure Layups Basketball Finishing Drill is an excellent tool for your players to use to work on balance, physicality, and creating angles to attack versus defensive pressure. The players will get meaningful repetitions on different types of finishes around the basket that will simulate the defensive pressure and contact they face in game situations; it will make them stronger, tougher, and more aggressive offensive players.