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Fast-Break Drills

This is an excerpt from Basketball for Women-2nd Edition by Nancy Lieberman.

Fast-Break Drills

Most players love to run and have the freedom to attack opponents in the open court. The fast break should be performed with speed; players need to pass the ball quickly up the floor before the defense can recover. Forcing the tempo of a game is a great asset. Defenses are in scramble mode as players try to get back, identify their player, and help out teammates. This causes confusion and mismatches, and it can tire a team out.

Four-on-Zero Fast-Break Layup Drill


To practice filling in positions on the fast break.


1. Four players participate in this drill, with no defenders. Players set up in front of the basket along the baseline; players 1 and 4 start at the blocks, and players 2 and 3 start in the corners.

2. Player 4 tosses the ball off the backboard and rebounds. Player 1 cuts to the middle for an outlet pass, while players 2 and 3 run down the outside lanes for a pass at the opposite end.

3. Whoever receives the ball from player 1 takes the ball to the basket for a layup; player 4 sprints down the court for a rebound.

4. Whether the shot is made or missed, player 4 grabs the ball and makes an outlet pass once again to player 1, and the fast break is executed on the other end.

Lady Magic Tips

  • The group should try to make 20 shots in 2 minutes.
  • Instead of passing to the same player every time or shooting from the same spot, players should mix things up!

Two-Player Fast Break


To practice passing and moving on the two-on-one fast break.


1. Divide players into pairs; one pair will be on the court at a time. Place one defender on the opposite end of the floor.

2. The first pair of players runs down the floor, passing back and forth and trying to score on the other end against the defender.

3. After the pair scores or the defender stops them, the next two players go, and so on. Everyone attempts to score on the fast break against the defender.

4. After every pair has gone, switch defenders and ends, and change up pairs. The drill continues until everyone has played defense.

Lady Magic Tips

  • This drill requires good communication between players.
  • For added incentive, each defender can count how many defensive stops she has made.

11-Person Break


To practice rebounding, making good outlet passes, and executing the three-on-two break. This drill requires 11 players.


1. Begin with two defensive players on each side of the court; two outlet players are on each sideline. Player 1 has the ball at the top of one key, and players 2 and 3 are on the wings for a three-on-two.

2. Play out the three-on-two situation until the defense gains possession of the ball or the offense scores.

3. The first defensive player to gain control of the ball outlets to one of the two players stepping onto the court. This defensive player and the two outlet players go three on two at the other end.

4. Two of the three offensive players left on the other end of the court claim the now-open defensive positions, while the third offensive player and the remaining defensive player (who didn't gain possession of the ball) replace the outlets on the sideline.

5. The drill continues in this manner until time is up or a designated number of points are scored.

Lady Magic Tips

  • The offense has a numbers advantage. They should use this advantage to work the ball around for a good shot.
  • The more aggressive the players are in this drill, the better. As a challenge to yourself, try to see how long you can stay on the court!

Read more about Basketball for Women, Second Edition by Nancy Lieberman.

More Excerpts From Basketball for Women 2nd Edition