Duke Lacrosse long stick midfielder LSM pursues the NorthCarolina midfielder carrying the ball

4-on-3 Full-Field Fast Breaks at Both Goals

We ran this great transition drill at our first practice of the season. The kids loved running full-field sprints back and forth for 15 minutes since we were playing a "game" of Fast Breaks instead of running a "drill". Tons of reps and tons of fun with this one.

The 4-on-3 Fast Break happens multiple times in every game, especially with youth and beginning players. No matter what level you coach, it's critical you teach all your offensive and defensive players to recognize and respond to this common game situation properly. Make sure your team understands how to work the numbers advantage so they can score!

This drill is great for imitating game situations, transition, ball movement, stick skills, defensive communication, slides and recovery, and shooting all at the same time! Plus you can work your first and second line Attackmen and Defenders at the same time, giving all your players plenty of reps.

If you don't have defined Attackmen and Defenders, you can rotate all your players through the drill so they get experience in different situations at different positions. This is how you "teach them how to play," instead of teaching them plays.

Who knows--maybe you'll find some kids that can catch and move the ball really well, or some kids that fit naturally on Defense!


full field 4 on 3 fast break practice drill

Figure 1.) Set up 3 Attack and 3 Defenders at each end of the field like you would in a game. Split your midfielders up into two teams, one on each side of the field at the midfield line. Start a ball with one of the goalies.

You can also mix your extra Long Poles and Attackmen in with the midfielders to give all your players more reps. Developing well-rounded athletes is one of the most important things you do as a youth or high school lacrosse coach.

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  • Don't let the drill become 4-on-4! If the Defense gets back faster than the Offense can move the ball, blow the whistle for an outlet pass from the goalie to a new Midfielder from the sideline. This is a 4-on-3 Fast Break Drill, not a 4-on-4 Dodging drill.
  • Keep time in your games and drills: Time your drills for your players' age and attention span.
  • Keep Score: Inject some intensity into your games and drills and give your players something to compete for--push ups, hill sprints, burpees, up downs, anything.
  • Be Loud: Everyone on both Attack and Defense needs to communicate who is covering the ball and who the open man is.
  • Eyes Up, Sticks Up: The D-Poles should put their sticks in the passing lanes to knock down passes and shots, while the Attackmen should have their sticks at the shoulder, ready to catch and shoot if they are open.
  • Keep Your Feet Moving: Attackmen should be moving to the ball to get open, while Defenders should be rotating to cover the man with the ball.


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