What Is A Layup?

What Is A Layup? We were playing basketball, shooting around yesterday at a hoop in Central Park. The backboard had been partially broken for months and it got me thinking. 

We use the term “layup” to describe an easy task – slightly harder than a certain “slam dunk.” However, great players realize that there are no layups. That every shot you take is littered with challenges and requires intention and focus. 

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When Stephen Curry was a young ballplayer they told him he was too short to play in high school, too weak to play in college and not good enough to play in the NBA. What did he do? Steph adjusted his shot to avoid bigger defenders with a high, lightning fast release. In fact, Curry’s release was timed at . 4 seconds by Sports Science (average NBA release time is . 54 seconds). That means Curry’s ball travels 12′ in the air before the average NBA player ever gets the ball out of his hand. This is how you overcome challenges – you work, you build, you adjust. Curry is the greatest shooter of all time and he still shoots 500 shots a day in practice. 

When you are building, the path to the goal is often blocked by shattered backboards – challenges that pop up at every turn. We know that there are no layups. We must continue to innovate, respond at lightning speed, challenge ourselves and adjust our shot at every turn. 


So, that is why my little basketball player has gotten better practicing on that shattered backboard. Moreover, his layups are not “layups.” They have to be near perfect to go in. Furthermore, as you build, embrace the challenges, the shattered backboards in life and business. In conclusion, they will make you better.

What Is A Layup?