Bob Hurley: Dynamic Fast Break & Press Break Drills to Implement Now

In this week’s team concepts feature, Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Hurley reveals his favorite and most effective fast break and press break drills. The drills – used frequently by the St. Anthony’s (NJ) basketball program – can be adapted for any level of basketball and focus on recreating competitive, game-like fast break scenarios.

2-on-1 to 5-on-5

This continuous fast break drill starts with a simple full court 2-on-1 break. You can start things off the backboard or via free throw, but for today’s example, we start the 2-on-1 on the break.

It’s a one shot drill (unless there’s a steal or turnover). After the play is over, the two offensive players immediately go back on defense and now go up against three offensive players and it becomes a 3-on-2. We keep adding from here and it eventually builds up to a 5-on-5 drill.

After the 3-on-2, the three offensive players run back on defense and now two more guys join the previous two defenders to make it a 4-on-3. Next up, it’s 5-on-4, and then the drill comes back 5-on-5 to finish.

Consider doing this drill for two straight minutes at practice. For instance, the white team starts off and every time they score, put points up on the scoreboard. After two minutes, the blue team goes, and after four total minutes, you have a validation.

The 2-on-1 to 5-on-5 drill is a great way to get fast break reps in at the beginning of practice. It’s also a way to get in running that’s related to basketball.


Flood Drill

This drill is a great way to prepare for the press. Offensively, start by getting two big guys at half court and on opposite ends and two guards at the elbows.

Note: We are not going to make the short pass against the diamond press because it’s too easy to trap. We want the first receiver to catch the ball near the three-point line so he has some room to operate. The inbounder can then trail behind the pass, the opposite half-court player can flash, and the opposite elbow guy can cut towards the ball.

From here, we play 7-on-5. Psychologically, we want to believe we can get shots off in a 7-on-5 format and eventually develop an attitude facing a press team.

“Flood” basically means regular press offense. When the inbounder yells Flood, the two elbow guys turn and run down the court deep. Both go wide and keep running deep. The point guard gets to half court and flashes back right into the middle of the floor. Meanwhile, the other deep player is on the fly and you may throw it over the top to him if it’s available.

Both bigs come charging up the floor and running hard on opposite sides toward the inbounder looking to receive the ball near the three-point line. Look to hit either one. Then the flashing guard comes into the picture and we can hit him in the middle. Hit him in the middle and then let him go from there. According to Coach Hurley, his team runs a Flood often at the end of games when the opposition applies the full-court pressure.

We run it with seven guys and it works well psychologically. The defense runs a 1-3-2-1 press, which takes a lot of passes away.


Know of another fast break drill that’s been particularly effective for your own team? Send us an e-mail at and tell us all about it. Then stay tuned as we’ll feature it in an upcoming basketball newsletter. 

The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Bob Hurley’s Practice Planning & Program Development.” To check out more videos featuring Bob Hurley, head over to our basketball library.  


Flood press break is the most effective press break options I’ve implemented. My AAU team now executes this option with relative ease. I go into games now hoping teams press us. There are three critical parts to this option, and must be followed at all times:

1. Bigs have to release to three point arc from half court. Releasing into the paint ruins spacing and makes this brek totally ineffective.

2. Shooting guard has to release fully up the court while the point guard releases to half court and then back to the middle of the floor. If shooting guard does not fully release, that allows an extra defender to attack the ball.

3. Player taking the ball out, the SF on my team, has to be the safety valve and trail behind all of the action once the ball is entered into play. But once the PG gets the ball in the middle of the half court, that will totally disrupt a defense and allow for easier scoring opportunities.

If you effectively run this option enough, that will drive teams away from employing the press against you. This has worked for my team all season!

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