Having a soft touch around the basket while changing pace or direction to evade the defender at full speed is one of the skills that allow a player to be a great finisher in basketball. Regardless of the type of finish, the offensive player needs to develop a soft touch around the basket that will allow them to finish at a high percentage.
This finishing basketball drill will incorporate repetitions of different finishes around the rim, either as a warm-up or during the course of a workout at full speed. In addition to finishing, this basketball drill allows you to focus on ball handling. Working on both of these skills at the same time will allow for maximum skill development as players go through the drill.
Basketball Drill Overview
Drill Name: Up the Lane Down the Lane Basketball Finishing Drill
Equipment Needed: 1 basketball per player, a cone, clock/timer, defender (optional).
Similar Basketball Drills and Resources
- 2 Minute Combo Move Weak Hand Basketball Finish Drill
- Ball Protection Basketball Finish Drill
- Florida Gators Line Ups Basketball Finishing Drill
Goals of the Drill
- Work on finishing around the basket with various finishes (you can decide the specific type of finish).
- Work on developing a soft touch around the basket and finishing from different angles.
- Develop ball-handling skills and work on different types of combo moves.
- As the players make their dribble moves up the lane, they need to keep their eyes up and looking down the court.
- The players should keep their hips and shoulders down when making their dribble moves; try to visualize as if they need to get by a defender.
- Players need to keep their dribble low and tight as they are making moves in a tighter space, closer to the basket.
- Once the player reaches the cone and turns to the basket to attack, they need to accelerate on the first step to get by the defender.
- Players need to make sure they reach high and jump up on their finish, rather than jumping out and falling off balance.
- If working with multiple players at a single basket, make sure you alternate the sides so that players are not running into each other on the finish.
Basketball Drill Instructions
- Place a cone just above each elbow.
- The players will each have a ball and start on either/both blocks.
- The player will execute the predetermined dribble move as they move up the lane; they will continue repeating this dribble move until they reach the cone. The coach can determine which hand the dribble move will begin with.
- As the player approaches the cone, they will circle it (maintaining their dribble) and attack toward the basket to execute the predetermined finishing move.
- The player will get their own rebound and get back in line.
- Switch lines after the desired amount of repetitions (or time) to make sure players are working on dribbling moves and finishing on both sides of the court.
Recommended Time, Scoring, and Repetitions
- This drill is demonstrated with each player making the same dribble move and finish on each side of the court three times before moving on to different dribble moves and finish. However, you could also do the same drill for a specific amount of time (i.e., 2 minutes for each dribble move/finish combination).
- In the demonstration, the coach predetermined the dribble moves and the type of finish. If you wanted to encourage greater flexibility and creativity, the players could determine their own dribble moves and/or type of finish.
- If you are working with a less skilled group of players, it is probably best to focus on single moves for the dribble moves up the lane. As the players increase in skill level or are more advanced, they can incorporate double combination dribble moves up the lane (i.e., between the legs/crossover).
- To change the dimensions or constraints for the drill, you could extend the cones a little further beyond the elbow toward the top of the key (this would allow for more repetitions of the dribble moves). You could also extend the cones a little wider than the lane line to change the angle of the attack move and finish at the rim.
- To increase the difficulty of the finish and make it more game-like, you could add a live defender at the rim to contest the shot or to try and slightly bump the offensive player off balance.
Up the Lane Down the Lane Basketball Finishing Drill Conclusion
Every player needs to have creativity and flexibility when making a move to finish at the basket. The game of basketball is dynamic and requires players to change pace, direction, and alter decisions, all within seconds. Therefore, players must use basketball drills like this to get repetitions of varying combination dribble moves into alternate and less traditional finishes.
This Up the Lane Down the Lane Finishing Drill has the versatility to be used as a quick warm-up for players to get repetitions of ball-handling and finishing moves at the beginning of a team basketball practice, or it can be used during an individual or small group workout to maximize repetitions on technique. In both environments, players will benefit from emphasizing a low, strong, quick series of dribble moves into a high, explosive variety of finishes at the basket.