2.3.7 Activities to Practice Fast Break Principles
Practicing Fast Break Fundamentals “2x2 Fast Break”
Rebounder outlets the ball to one of the offensive players who move to play 2x2. The players contest “up and back” and then new players join the activity.
A pre-determined movement of players that emphasizes passing the ball ahead and also moving up the floor quickly.
Player 4 starts the activity by rebounding the ball. They can either throw the ball against the backboard or preferably have the previous 4 players go “up and back” so that they shoot a lay-up which Player 4 will rebound.
“3x2 Starting the Break”
One defender starts from a position of disadvantage (on the baseline). Offence must move quickly up the court and take advantage of only one defender being in their initial position.
Instead of Player 3 starting with the ball, you can have x2 pass the ball to whichever offensive player they choose.
As an alternative, have two defenders start on the baseline, so that it will become 3x3 if the offence don’t move the ball quickly to get a shot.
4x4 Fast Break Activity”
Initially run the drill with a passive defence, moving down the floor but not looking to steal the ball.
Restrict the number of dribbles that the offence can take. Progress activity to contested 4x4
“Running the Floor”
“2x0 / 1x1”
2x0 fast break situation, with players passing to their teammate if they are ahead. If a player can catch up and get ahead, they get it back!
Play 1x1 back, with whoever took the shot being on defence.
“3x0” / “2x1”
3x0 fast break, with shooter playing defence against the other two players on the way back.
On initial break, players may go for a lay-up or shoot a jump shot. If the shot is made, the offence must pass in from the baseline and the defender may deny this pass if they wish.
If the defender steals the ball, they must go for another lay-up (or jump shot) without being defended.
“2x1 plus 1”
One defender starts in position to guard their basket. The other defender starts with the ball at the other end of the floor and passes to the offence.
Offence advance the ball as quickly as possible, looking for 2x1 possibility. The second defender sprints down the floor in an effort to make it 2x2.
Can have players return to the other end of the floor playing contested 2x2, or have them step off and another group start.
Can also use with”3x2 plus 1” and “4x3 plus 1”
Divide players into two groups with at least 5 players in each group.
Each team defends one basket and attacks one basket. Play 3x2 and when defence get the ball (either the offence scored, the defenders stole the ball or there was another violation by the offence), a third player steps in from the sideline to play 3x2 at the other end.
Given the advantage that the offence has, the coach may limit the offences:
- Number of attempted shots;
- Time in which to take a shots; and/or
- Number of passes.
Play full court 3x3, with first team to make 5 baskets win. To emphasize the fast break mentality, the coach may designate that an open lay-up is worth 2 points.
“Pass Ahead Rush”
Player with the ball starts at the free throw line, facing the nearest baseline. At least 2 (no more than 4) players stand on baseline. The player with the ball dribbles to touch the baseline and other players start to sprint down the floor.
After touching the baseline, the ball carrier passes as quickly as possible to whichever player is closest to the basket for a lay-up. The dribbler must get to the other free throw line, and all players must get to the baseline and play resumes.
As variations, coaches may:
- If dribbler cannot pass the ball to the furthest player, they should pass as far as they can and call that player to pass to the furthest player.
- Add defence on some or all of the running players, so that the dribbler must determine who is open.
This activity requires at least 10 players, divided into two teams. It is a fast paced, competitive activity that has a number of “advantage / disadvantage” situations and it also places an emphasis on the importance of free throws.
The activity may be done with all successful baskets scoring 1 point (regardless of where the shot was taken) or with normal scoring or the coach may designate that an open lay-up is worth 2 points and other shots are worth 1 point.
The activity proceeds like a game. When the defence secure the ball at one end (either defensive rebound, steal, offensive turnover or offensive score) they proceed on offence to the other end. If the offence get a rebound they take another shot: