A Pair of Dynamic Team Transition Drills

A team that’s well prepared for transition basketball will have a vital advantage over the course of a game. The following team transition drills are ideal for working on typical game-situations and promoting healthy competition during practice. Read through all of the instructions below and then watch the video clips to see how each drill is carried out on the court.

The Outnumbered Break Drill

Submitted by Shaka Smart, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio

Overview: This drill is easy to learn and highly competitive. It develops both defensive and offensive execution in outnumbered situations. It’s also a terrific conditioner.

2 on 1 Initial Set: The drill begins in a 2 on 1 initial set. Start by placing player “O” at the foul line and then two defensive players (X’s) at the low blocks in rebounding position. All other players should start out at the FT line extended area of the floor and off the court to the side. There should be two defensive players on the left FT line area and three players on the right side. On the opposite side of the court, three more players should be on each sideline at the FT line extended area.

The action begins with “O” shooting a free throw. The two defensive players will take the ball off of the miss or make and then proceed down the court and finish with a 2 on 1 transition break.

3 on 2 Set: Once the 2 on 1 break is finished, the drill continues with two more players joining the outnumbered team on each possession. Therefore, 2 on 1 now becomes 3 on 2 as the ball is outlet to one of the two new players stepping onto the floor from the FT line extended area.

5 on 5 Set: The ball must be taken out after every make. Meanwhile, every outlet pass after a make or miss must be received below the FT line extended area. The drill continues as the 3 on 2 now becomes a 4 on 3, and then that becomes a 5 on 4. After the 5 on 4 possession, only one additional player enters the drill to make it a 5 on 5 drill. After the final possession, restart the drill by having X shoot a free throw with 2 O’s on the block.

Scoring: One point is earned for a made FT, two points for a made field goal, three points for a made three-pointer, and five points for any player who draws a charging foul. Play for five minutes with a continuous clock and keep a cumulative score for both teams.


Fastbreak Turnover Drill

Submitted by Eric Musselman, former head coach of the Golden State Warriors

This fastbreak drill improves a player’s ability to change direction quickly when in transition during a turnover. It also works on being able to catch passes on the move and make fastbreak layups at full speed.

Player 2 has the ball under the basket. Player 1 can stand anywhere on the floor. Player 2 then passes the ball to 1 and sprints toward him/her and touches the ball. As soon as 2 touches the ball, they will immediately sprint back towards the basket. Player 1 then lobs the ball over 2’s head. 2 must now get control of the ball and make a layup while going at full speed.

Player 1 will now move to another spot on the floor and 2 will grab the rebound after the layup. Player 2 will pivot, locate 1 and throw a pass back to him. He will continue the drill like before, sprinting towards 1 and touching the ball and then sprinting back towards the basket for the lob and layup.

The drill continues at full speed until Player 2 makes five layups in a row.


The following drills can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “25 Aggressive Transition & Conditioning Drills” featuring Winning Hoops. To check out more drills or team plays, head over to our extensive Winning Hoops basketball collection.

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