VIDEO - 3 on 2, 2 on 1 Transition Drill with Steve Nash

You'll find this same drill in our FREE Breakthrough Basketball Drills ebook on page 141.

This drill is designed to teach players how to take advantage on the fast break, creating easy baskets for themselves and their other teammates. I've used this at the youth and high school level. Everybody enjoyed it, especially the youth teams.

  1. Put two of your players at one end of the court, and the other three at the opposite end. The group of three should have a basketball.

  2. On the whistle, the player with the ball will start dribbling towards the defense, and the other two offensive players will sprint ahead of the dribbler, spreading out on each side.

  3. The player with the ball will dribble until one of the defenders commit to them.

  4. They will then pass the ball to one of the open offensive players on either side, and, ideally, a layup will ensue. However, an extra pass may be needed.

  5. The player who either takes the shot (make or miss), or turns the ball over will sprint back to the other end of the court and play defense.

  6. The two original defenders will become offensive players and execute a two on one break.

Coaching Tips
  • Make a defender commit to you before passing.

  • Look up while dribbling; see the floor.

  • All young players want to shoot the ball and score a lot of points, but it is important for them to know that being unselfish is a key to making a fast break go successfully.
  • No dribbling throughout the drill at first, then progress to dribbling once the players reach half-court. It helps break the habit of catching and instantly dribbling. After catching the ball, it emphasizes seeing the defense, and reacting to what is given to them.

  • Time limit - Give them a certain amount of time to get a QUALITY shot. For example, once the ball crosses half-court, they have 4 seconds to get a shot. This will make it more game-like, because the advantage quickly goes away during live action.

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What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


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Dennis says:
11/17/2009 at 11:13:51 AM

We try to get the rock up the middle, that gives us the option of going either left or right with the ball when we get to the red zone. If for some reason the ball gets pushed to a side, we run a player down the middle lane getting them to the front of the rim and using an entry pass to get the rock into the paint. This is usually open as the defenders are trying to find their spots and are still back on their heels a bit and our player is sprinting and has an advantage of speed.


Joe Haefner says:
11/15/2009 at 5:35:48 PM

I don't know if there is a best way either. However, if you bring the ball up the side on a 3 on 2 break, it may be easier for the 2nd defender to guard the other two players. If the ball is brought up the middle, the 2nd defender has to commit to one of the players when the ball is passed which either leaves an open lane for a pass or dribble lay up.


Andersson says:
11/14/2009 at 10:15:48 AM

I have been running alot of 3 on 2 drills and I love it, because I think it teaches the players alot of different thing. I thing that I have thought about is when You start the break and the rebounder take the rebound and make the first pass to the player usually on the wing. Will the player drbbling up the court choose the middle or stay on side. I have discussed this with my other coach and we are not sure what's the best. In Your drill the "guard" takes the middle and the passer fills the lane as I usually have done, but I'm not sure if it is the best. Either could the dribbler choose the lane or pass it back to the middle man. Can You please try to explain what you suggest i why.


ruchita says:
11/13/2009 at 7:29:00 AM

pls i need to tell u that the description wriiten is not enough for a coach whos at his initial position ie hez begining his career please do giv deep description that wil help us a lot sir


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