Why Do NBA Players Still Do Lay-up Drills?! - The Mental Toughness Coach - Chris Dorris

Why Do NBA Players Still Do Lay-up Drills?!

These guys have been playing the game their whole lives. They’re the best on the planet. Why would they still practice things like lay-ups and free throws and ball handling? Haven’t they learned that by now? Shouldn’t they be beyond that by now?

Well, the short answer is, no. I mean, yes, they’ve learned how to handle the ball and to shoot free throws (hold on, THAT might be debatable – let’s exclude free throw shooting from this example) and certainly how to make a lay up. But that doesn’t mean they should be beyond having to continue drilling on those things. DRILLING. Doing drills day in and day out. Every pre-game doing lay-up drills. Every practice doing some fundamentals drills. Why? To keep those skills from fading. To keep the skills sharp.

Stop working out, lose muscle mass. We all get that. But let’s now apply this to psychological strength or mental toughness or emotional intelligence.

In identical fashion to physical skills or strength, if I cease the mental exercise, my psychological strength fades. So if I stop working out, either physically or mentally, I lose my edge.

Not only do I lose my edge, I increase my vulnerability to disease. In both cases. Psychologically, let’s refer to it as dis-ease. If I’m not on my game mentally, every single day doing something specific that results in me strengthening my ability to use my mind skillfully, then I am becoming mentally ill. Literally. Weak. When I don’t strengthen my mind, I become massively susceptible to popular psychological limiting beliefs that are the equivalent of viruses.

A few examples of such viral, dis-eased beliefs/statements/thoughts are :

  • “I’ll be happy when ____.” (fill in the blank with anything other than, “when I upgrade my thinking.”)
  • “Thank God it’s Friday!”
  • “”I can’t have my life the way I want it! That’s unrealistic.”

If I’m not actively conditioning my mind on a daily basis, then these and the other 500 million shitty thoughts will take up residence in my vulnerable mind and will govern me in a such a way that I experience life as troublesome and problematic. Dis-eased.

This message is about the importance of integrating mental training, on even a small level, into your daily life. It’s a post about WHY you would do that. This isn’t a post about HOW to do that.


  1. Cy Garrick says:

    I absolutely love this Chris! You are amazing at being able to clarify and simplify! Please post more Blogs on this subject!

  2. John says:

    Thanks Chris!!

Leave a Reply

Please leave a comment.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and reactions!

I accept the Privacy Policy