A layup is a type of shot in basketball. The shot is performed close to the basket and has a high percentage chance of going in, when done correctly.

For those who do not know the basics of this shot, here is a step by step guideline for a successful layup.

For this example, I will assume that you are right handed, going in for a layup on the right side of the basket.

1. Dribble the ball towards the basket and angle your path at a 45 degree angle to the backboard.

2. Just before you reach the painted box on the right side of the court, stop dribbling and take a step with your right foot, then your left, still at a 45 degree angle with the basket.

3. With the ball balanced on your right hand, your elbow at a 90 degree angle, push your right elbow upwards and raise your right knee. This step should be performed as if there was a string connecting the bottom of your right elbow to the top of your right knee. Release the ball with a flick of the wrist, aiming it at the top right corner of the square on the backboard.

4. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Variations on this basic skill include the reverse layup, where the player approaches the hoop from the right side (say) of the court but releases the ball after going under the hoop and ending up on the left side. Another alternate is the finger roll, which is best described by watching video clips of Michael Jordan. Or, if you were tall, unlike myself, you could just dunk it.

Now, this is a skill that takes practice, and isn't quite as easy as it looks on TV the first time. However, it is a life skill that is imperative should you ... I'm not sure when, but I'm sure it will be. Take my word on this one!