youth lacrosse defenders chasing the ball

4-on-3 Fast Break Drill

4-on-3 Fast Breaks are often a standard part of tryouts for many teams, helping coaches gauge everything from a player's stick skills to footwork to his performance under pressure. Keep it simple for your players with this common game situation drill.

The 4-on-3 Fast Break happens multiple times in every lacrosse game, especially with youth and beginners. No matter what level you coach, make sure your team understands how to work the numbers advantage so they can score!

With three Attackmen plus one Midfielder with the ball (3+1=4) against the three (3) Defenders, you have an open man somewhere on the field.

This is an easy drill to imitate game situations, plus it gives your offensive players enough time to move the ball and work the Defense. Focus on giving your team plenty of reps playing 4-on-3 to the goal. They have the numbers advantage as long as they don't throw the ball away.


4 on 3 fast break drill basic setup

Figure 1. Set up your three Attackmen in an "L" shape, or three corners of a box (Blue 1, 2 and 3) to give each player as much space as possible. The Midfielder with the ball (Blue 4) will become the fourth corner when he brings the ball in.

Set up your three Defenders in a triangle shape to cover as much space as possible, with their sticks up in the air to knock down passes.

The first Defender to stop the ball should call "Point!" to the other two Defenders.

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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.
  • Run this drill on both sides of the field: Have the Midfielder bring the ball in at the Goalie's top right some times. Force your Attackmen to rotate and balance out the box.
  • 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!


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