The 3 Man Weave
Variations to Spice up this Classic Basketball Drill

The 3 man weave is an exceptional basketball drill that is a mainstay in many coaches' practices - I use it constantly as a warm-up before practices and games. It stresses good passing skills, good conditioning, team work and footwork, and finishing the fast break. Add in some variations to mix it up and you've got a basketball drill that you can use every day.

Here's what players need to focus on:

  • chest passes only, except on the last pass to lay up which can be a bounce pass
  • lead the receiver - pass a little ahead of him so that he runs into the pass; otherwise, the pass usually ends up behind him and causes a turnover
  • receiver should provide a target for passer by extending his hand in front of him as he runs
  • no reason to travel - catch, land, pass
  • the ball shouldn't touch the ground except for the final bounce pass
  • run - don't get caught behind the ball
  • make your lay-ups

Basketball Drill
How to Run the 3 Man Weave

  • Players line up in three lines at the base line, with the ball in the middle line.
  • Player #1 executes a proper chest pass to player #2.
  • Player #1 immediately sprints behind the player he passed to (player #2)
  • Meanwhile, player #2 executes a proper chest pass to player #3
  • Player #2 then immediately sprints behind the player he passed to (player #3)
  • Player #3 passes to player #1
  • Player #3 then sprints behind player #1
  • They continue to pass in this fashion - pass and go behind - until one player is close enough to cut to the basket
  • At this point, the passer (in this example player #2) passes to the cutter (in this example player #3) using a bounce pass, and the cutter takes the ball hard to the hoop to score.

3 Man Weave3 Man Weave
  • Players should simply continue the natural flow of the drill to finish with the scorer (player #3) out on one wing, the player who passed the ball to the scorer (player #2) on the other wing, and the remaining player (player #1) rebounding the ball.

  • By doing this, they are already in position to start the drill again, coming back down the court.
3 man weave return3 Man Weave - Return

Like I said, this is a great drill, and by throwing in a couple of variations you can shift the focus slightly to different skills, while still retaining the benefits of the original drill.

The 3 Man Weave
Variation #1: 2 on 1 Return

  • After completing the fast break basket at the end of the weave, the scorer (in this example player #3) races ahead of the remaining two players on the way back down the court

  • The other two players (player #1 and player #2) take the ball back, playing 2 on 1 against player #3
3 Man Weave - 2 on 1 Return3 Man Weave - 2 on 1 Return

The 3 Man Weave
Variation #2: Everyone Shoots

  • Assume player #3 takes the ball to the hoop at the end of the weave

  • Player #2, after passing to player #3, then sets up at the wing (simply continues running in the same direction after making the pass)

  • Player #1 rebounds and passes to player #2 who takes the shot.

  • Player #1 then immediately moves out to top of the key / free throw line and sets up.

  • Player #3 comes back into key to rebound player #3's shot

3 Man Weave - Everyone Shoots3 Man Weave - Everyone Shoots
  • Player #3 rebounds and passes to player #1 who takes the shot from just outside the free throw line

  • Player #3 moves out to the wing, while player #1 rebounds his own shot

  • Player #1 outlets to either Player #3 or player #2 and they repeat the entire drill coming back down the court

3 Man Weave - Everyone Shoots3 Man Weave - Everyone Shoots

With a little imagination I'm sure there are other variations you could put out there. Combining drills such as the weave with 3-on-2 to 2-on-1, is how the first variation was created - maybe try to combine it with a different drill and see what happens?

Also, a slight change to variation #1 will also create an excellent drill for pre-game warm ups.

The 3 man weave basketball drill - one great drill, two variations and lots of possibility. Something to add substance to every practice.

"Nothing will work unless you do."

- John Wooden

Looking for something more visual?

Try UMass Head Coach Derek Kellogg's video package of drills