Denver University Outlaws fast break lacrosse

4-on-3 Drill with 2-on-1 Up Top

This simple variation of the classic 4-on-3 Fast Break is a great drill for youth and high school teams. Besides improving passing, catching, and man-down defense, using this small twist at practice will get players to adapt and respond quickly to fast break situations during games.

The 4-on-3 Fast Break is one of the most common situations in lacrosse. It can happen at any time during a game, especially with youth and beginners, and start from any direction. No matter what level you coach, make sure your team understands how to work the numbers advantage so they can score!

This drill starts with a 2-on-1 from the midfield line, with 2-on-2 down by the goal. You still end up in a 4-on-3 situation like in a game, except with a little twist at the beginning.

Focus on giving your players plenty of reps and chances to score. They should have the 4-on-3 numbers advantage as long as they don't throw the ball away.


4 on 3 with 2 on 1 up top

Figure 1. Set up two Attackmen and two Defenders on either side of the goal at Goal Line Extended (GLE).

Start two lines of offensive Midfielders (Blue 1 and 2) at the midfield line. and one line of defensive Midfielders (Red 1) in between them, imitating a typical 2-0n-1 situation.

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  • "Fireball!" Throw in a new loose ball if there's a bad pass or shot out of bounds to keep the drill going with the same players.
  • Rotate your players through all positions- Have your whole team try out every position on Attack and Defense. Teach your players to be a threat anywhere on the field. Maybe you will find some really good Defenders or ball handlers that you didn't know about!
  • Send in a "chaser" on Defense. These numbers-advantage situations only last for a few seconds in a game. If Blue can't move the ball to the open man quickly enough to take advantage of the 4-on-3, play out this 4-on-4 situation to a goal or a turnover.


  • 4-on-3 Box Passing: Teach your players to understand the Box and the Triangle before playing this out to the Goal.
  • 4-on-3 Full-Field Sprints: Have the Midfielders sprint to the opposite end line or restraining line. Roll the ball out to the offensive player that returns to the midfield line the fastest. This is a great drill for conditioning and can create some added competition in practice!
  • Full Field Face-Off Fast Breaks: Set up goalies, Attack and Defense at both ends of the field. Start with a Face Off to get Fast Breaks going at both ends. Twice as much practice in the same amount of time!
  • Full-Field Fast Breaks at Both Goals: This classic 4-on-3 Transition drill is great for getting your players tons of reps and tons of running to get back on Defense!
  • Japanese Fast Breaks- 4-on-3 Fast Breaks that finish in 6-on-6 settled Offense. Tons of fun with this drill.

Make sure to let us know if you have any great Fast Break Drills of your own! We would love to share them.