How To Do A Reverse Layup In Basketball

reverse layup tutorial

Time to reveal my secret weapon :)…

The reverse layup.

Not only are you going to learn how to do a reverse layup in this article but by the time you finish reading/watching this you are going to want to go straight to the gym to perfect it.

When short players look for better ways to finish inside amongst the bigs they normally find answers that direct them to “work on their floaters, runners, and mid-range jump shots.”

I challenge you to master the reverse layup.

And in this blog post I’ll show you why.

First things first lets talk about…

How To Do A Reverse Layup

So like I just showed in the video there are 2 kinds of reverse layups.

One is just a regular reverse layup and the other is what I call the “Goofy Reverse.”

how to do a reverse layup

How To Shoot A Regular Reverse Layup

So as the pictures show, the Regular Reverse uses the left hand on the left side of the basket and vice versa while the Goofy Reverse uses the right hand on the left side of the basket and vice versa.

When shooting a regular reverse layup there are two keys.

  • Get the ball high on the backboard
  • Put a little spin on the ball

By shooting it high on the backboard you are going to give it a better chance to go in.

A big danger with reverse layups is missing short as it's to do that since you are going away from the basket.

Here is a quick diagram of where the ball should be hitting the backboard.

Although this is not a definitive place where the ball should hit, because that can vary depending on spin and a few other things, but this should give you a good start.

reverse layup sweetspot

Also, you want to put a little spin on the basketball as well.

This will help guide the basketball towards the rim once it hits the backboard.

You can shoot reverse layups without spin as well, but I think you'll find that you have to focus much more on where the ball hits the backboard and how hard you shoot it.

Once you get the spin down it's like riding a bike and it makes the shot more forgiving.

You must make sure though that you spin the ball in the right direction.

how to spin the ball for a reverse layup

How To Shoot A Goofy Reverse Layup

With this kind of reverse you can also use spin, but it's a little more advanced.

I would recommend that you start without using spin if this is new to you.

But like the regular reverse there also are two important things that you must do to make this shot on a consistent basis and they are:

  • Have your shoulders 45 degrees to the backboard when shooting
  • Get the ball high on the backboard

If your shoulders are perpendicular with the backboard it will be hard to get the ball on the glass and if your shoulders are parallel with the backboard you won't be able to get the shot to head towards the rim.

That's why you need the correct angle so that you can shoot the basketball backwards and it will be able to hit the glass with the right trajectory to go into the basket.

I mean that is the goal right 😉 ?

If you don't know what perpendicular and parallel mean stop ditching class first of all, and second of all check out the picture below.

angle for layup

Why Reverse Layups Work So Well

Reverse layups are great because the keep the shot blockers guessing.

If you attack the basket and are in layup territory the first option is go up on the strong side of the basket and finish.

Shot blockers have to anticipate.

If they don't anticipate you going up on the strong side they could be in trouble to have some little old guard drive right by them for an easy layup...not a good look for them.

So while they are getting ready to block you strong side you make your steps a little bigger than normal and you go up on the weak side for a reverse layup...2 points.

But what if they do anticipate the reverse?

Well you might get your shot blocked into the third row, lol.

That's just being honest.

There are no absolutes in basketball and nothing works or doesn't work 100% of the time, buuuut...

It's much harder to block a reverse layup due to the fact that you are going away from the shot blocker/rim instead of towards him.

Also, depending on where the shot blocker is coming from, you can use the net and rim as protection.

And the Goofy Reverse does this very well.

So now comes the hard part.


If you want to improve your finishing around the basket then you have to practice it.

Here is a basic drill that you can use to work on your reverse layups.

Here is a more advanced drill you can use that focuses on reverse layups.

And finally if you want my favorite drill for working on your reverse layups than please share this page and you can unlock the video.



Ok, I hope that helped you out and make sure you enter your email somewhere on this site to get my free workout as well as stay updated on new content that I release and if you you want to learn more about how to shoot layups you can do that there.

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  • Chris Harris

    Reply Reply February 5, 2015

    Do you sale t-shirts with ballerbootcamp on them? Maybe with “we dedicated” on the back. Let me know

    • Augie Johnston

      Reply Reply February 5, 2015

      That’s a good idea, but as of now we don’t have those for sale. You’ll here about it if we do.

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