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How to do a reverse lay-up?

What is a reverse lay-up

Reverse lay-up, or simply the reverse, is a lay-up using the backboard and done with your back facing the basketball hoop and often your defender after you blow by him.

What does it take to make a good reverse lay-up

To be able to use the reverse lay-up.  You should have decent dribbling skills that enables you to dribble pass your opponents.  Thus, ball-handling skills is very important in doing a successful reverse lay-up.  Also, the reverse typically apply a spin to the basketball so that it bounces off the backboard at an angle into the basketball hoop.  In this case, you will need flexible wrists that are accustomed to rotational movements.  Strong arms will also help because chances are your defenders will bump into your arm while striving to defend against your reverse.  The most critical attribute that a basketball player must have in order to do a reverse is a keen sense of his position in relation to the basketball hoop because when you are going up in a reverse lay-up, you will be unable to look at the rim with your back facing it

When do I use a reverse lay-up

Reverse are often blocked when defenders cut down your angle

First of all, you will need some decent basketball dribbling skills and nifty ball-handling moves that will get past your defender and  you close to the baseline.  When you are close to the baseline and you see a clear lane from your spot towards the immediate other side of the rim, that is when you should use the reverse lay-up.  Hence, you should always keep an eye out for opportunities to perform a basketball reverse lay-up when you are speedier than your defender. 

On a larger scale, the reverse should be used when the frontal defense is too intense for direct penetration into the paint.

It is also very effective to do a head fake on your side to fake a normal lay up while you proceed to your reverse side for a reverse lay-up.  If your defender buys your head fake, then you should definitely go for a reverse.  If he doesn't buy the head fake, that is fine too.  Just leap on the reverse side, take the impact from the defender's challenge and lays it in afterwards.

Pros-n-cons about doing a reverse lay-up



  • Using your back to separate your defender and the ball
  • Your back can be used to take any impact from the defender
  • The rim and net of the basketball hoop somewhat protects you from a block shot
  • You are way safer from stripping when you carry the ball on the side of the baseline
  • The reverse spin offsets the forward momentum your driving motion carries
  • Applicability is not high in that you must be close to the baseline
  • If anticipated by defenders, it can be easily blocked due to the obvious shooting angle
  • The shooting angle of a reverse is very limited
  • You sacrificed the vision on the side of your back
  • you can get trapped under the basketball hoop by help-defense

General step-by-step guide to doing a reverse lay-up

By setting picks for point guards effectively, the offense can easily create the reverse situation.  In this case, the defense almost always have help defense on the basketball player going for a reverse.  Should this happen, the ball carrier can dish the basketball to the teammate that is left unguarded by the help-defending player.  Hence the reverse-dish is a great penetration-assist move.

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