Basketball Strategy
The Quick Transition Drill


The need for quick transition is a basketball strategy few coaches would debate - the quicker you transition from defense to offense, the better your scoring opportunities are; and the quicker you transition from offense to defense, the more likely you are to stop your opponent. The slower you transition, the more likely you are to get scored against and find yourself on the losing side of scoreboard.

A basketball team playing strong offense needs to be stopped as soon as possible - give them an opening, and they'll take over the game. Especially if they have a decent fast break, and one or two of your players are loping slowly down the court after missing a shot. It only takes a basket or two to turn the momentum of the game in their favor. You don't want to give them that opening.

This drill focuses on the transition from offense to defense (another look here for the transition from defense to offense), forces your players to hustle down the court after a change in possession, and places one man behind the ball and forcing him to catch up to the play. In other words, he has to hustle harder because he is out of the play, while his teammates need to slow the offense down long enough for him to get back and help out.


Basketball Strategy
The Quick Transition Drill

  • Start the drill 5 on 5, with the offense on the baseline and the defense squared off against them, standing at the foul line extended
  • The coach has the ball in between the two lines
  • The coach chooses an offensive player at random and passes the ball to him


Basketball Strategy - Quick Transition 1Quick Transition Drill - Pass to Start
  • Immediately once the offensive player receives the pass from the coach, the entire offensive team begins to fast break with the player that received the pass carrying the ball up as quickly as he can
  • The defensive team hustles back to play defense, except for the defensive man that was opposite the offensive player that received the pass
  • The defensive man must sprint to touch the baseline first, before sprinting up court to join his teammates in defending the basket
Basketball Strategy - Transition 2Quick Transition Drill - Hustle Back

At the other end they can go straight into a scrimmage (offense should be trying to finish a fast break). Once they score or the defense gets the ball, repeat the drill at the other end, switching offense and defense.


Not a complex drill but one that does help develop an essential basketball strategy - everyone needs to transition quickly, whether from offense to defense or from defense to offense. They need to fast break as quickly as they can on a turnover or rebound, and they need to hustle back on defense, whether to pick up their own men or to slow down another player's man until he arrives.

Be sure to change up the player you pass the ball to - this will keep the defense honest, as if they start to wander up court and their man gets the pass, it will be a longer sprint t the baseline for them.





"Every team requires unity. A team has to move as one unit, one force, with each person understanding and assisting the roles of his teammates. If the team doesn't do this, whatever the reason, it goes down in defeat. You win or lose as a team, as a family."

-Jack Kemp






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