Basic Basketball Drills
The 2 Man Break

One of those basic basketball drills that does triple duty - good practice for fast break dribbling, finishing the break, and conditioning - the 2 Man Break drill isn't difficult, but it works, and it's quick, so you'll be able to have the entire team get several runs through this drill in just a few minutes.

I favor a fast break style of play, so drills like this - quick and effective - are always in my early-season practices. And if I notice my players are getting slow at any point during the season, if they seem to be slacking off a bit and dawdling through practice, I'll throw drills like this at them to get their mindset back on track.

One additional advantage to drills such as this is that players really enjoy them. And why not? They're fast, so there isn't much time spent waiting in line; they get to be active and offensive, something players enjoy; and while simple, the drill is also challenging, and players need to focus and work hard to succeed at it.

Basic Basketball Drills: The 2 Man Break
Instructions to Players

  • This is a fast break - no jogging

  • The player not handling the ball - #1 and #5 in the diagram below - needs to sprint as fast as he can to get down the court ahead of the ball carrier and be in position when the pass comes to him

  • Neither player can drift before the pass is made - i.e., player #1 can't toss a slow pass to #2 and then start sprinting, and player #2 can't start moving down court until he has the ball

Basic Basketball Drills: The 2 Man Break
The Outlet Pass

  • Players line up in two lines - scorers under the basket, ball carriers about foul line height at the wing
  • Form lines at both ends of the court to run this drill continuously

  • The first player in each scoring line - #1 and #5 - executes a proper chest pass to the first player in the other line - #2 and #6
  • You could also start this drill by having the first player - #1 and #5 - bounce the ball off the backboard and rebound, to add more authenticity to the outlet situation

Basic Basketball Drills - 2 Man Break2 Man Break Drill - Outlet Pass

Basic Basketball Drills: The 2 Man Break
The Fast Break

Both lines begin to move as soon as the pass is made

  • Immediately upon releasing the ball, #1 and #5 sprint behind #2 and #6 and down the court
  • They follow the sideline until they reach the opposite three point line, and then they angle and cut hard to the basket

  • As soon as he catches the ball, #2 and #6 speed dribble down court as fast as they can
  • They angle to the middle of the court and then straight down the middle

Basic Basketball Drills - 2 Man Break2 Man Break Drill - Fast Break

Basic Basketball Drills: The 2 Man Break
The Finish

  • At the three point line, #2 and #6 pull up and bounce pass the ball to #1 and #5, as they are angling in to the basket from the 3 point line

  • #1 and #5 receive the pass and drive to the basket - there should be no dribble from them, as they should receive the ball in stride and simply complete the layup strong

  • After the basket is made, the next players in line - #4 and #8 - pick the ball out of the basket and immediately outlet the ball to the next in line along the sideline - #3 and #7 - and start the drill again
  • After completing the drill, players go to the ends of the lines, switching positions for their next run down the court

Basic Basketball Drills - 2 Man Break2 Man Break Drill - Finish

This drill should be run at game speed, meaning that there should be no point where one player is waiting for another to catch up - the ballhandler shouldn't be stopping at the three point line and waiting to pass; he should be pulling up and passing immediately to the cutter. Which means the cutters need to hustle.

This is a quick, basic basketball drill, with players running hard the entire time. It's good practice for fast break control and formation, which is why I use it early on in practices to develop strong outlets and running the court, as well as the idea of filling the lanes and, of course, finishing the break.

It's also a good substitute for sprints when you want to add conditioning into practice - once we get past the initial pre-season period, where most of our outright conditioning is done, we simply don't have time in our practices to include stand alone conditioning drills.

Drills like this add in that important conditioning element.

"Great effort springs naturally from great attitude."

- Pat Riley

Looking for something more visual?

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


Make the Fast Break your first offense!
Check out Better Basketball Coaching's step-by-step break down and coaching manual for

Coaching Better Fast Break Basketball

Basketball Books – Fast Break