5 on 4 slow break practice drill draw dump

5-on-4 Slow Break Drill

Slow Breaks happen almost as often as Fast Breaks in any lacrosse game. Use this simple practice drill to teach all your players how to move the ball and score those great transition goals that make lacrosse so exciting!

Numbers-advantage goals are easier to score than settled 6-on-6 goals in our opinion. Coaches hope for these easy scoring opportunities all game. Don't let them go to waste! Make sure your team does 5-on-4 Slow Break Drills just as much as 4-on-3 Fast Break Drills in practices, tryouts and pregame warm-ups.

The 5-on-4 Slow Break is very similar to the 4-on-3 Fast Break, with one more midfielder for each team in the play. Any decent high school or college team should be able to get at least one Midfielder back on defense any time they lose the ball.

Use this same simple game situation drill to practice Man-Up/Man-Down for Box Lacrosse! Box or Indoor Lacrosse is 5-on-5 like basketball or hockey. If one player gets a penalty on either team, 5-on-4 is what you get.

  • OFFENSE: Work the 2-on-1 early! "Draw!" a Defender and "Dump!" the ball to the open man.
  • DEFENSE: Get back in the "Hole!" and play Defense "from inside-out!". Stopping the ball is always Job #1.

If your players really understand how these numbers advantage situations work, you are probably winning most of your games.


5 on 4 slow break man down practice drill

Figure 1.) Start your players with two lines of Attacking Midfielders (Blue "M") and one line of Defending Midfielders (Red "M") up top by the midfield line. Give your midfielders plenty of space to play out this 2-on-1 up top.

Set up your three Attackmen (Blue "A") and three Defenders (Red "D") down by the goal area like they would be in a game.

Coach will pass the ball to one of the two Blue Midfielders to start each rep of the drill.

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  • "Fire Ball!" Throw in an extra ball after a bad pass or shot to keep the drill going with the same players.
  • Send in a Chaser on Defense after 5 or 10 seconds! Send in one more Red Midfielder to make the situation even at 5-on-5. Play this out to a goal, save or a turnover.
  • Keep time and keep score to raise the intensity at practice! Now it's a "game" instead of a "drill". Say 2 points for a goal, 1 point for a save, turnover or a clear.
  • Make sure all your players get to play both sides of the ball. All your developing athletes, especially your midfielders should know how to play both Offense and Defense.


  • 3-on-2 "West Gennies": Coaches have been using this classic 3-on-2 transition drill for decades to teach their players to understand Fast and Slow Breaks.
  • 5-on-4 "Spider!" Drill for Defense: Use this great man-down drill for Defense to give you players more chances to find the open man in 5-on-4 Situations.
  • 5-on-4 Slow Break: The "Wheel": Turn the "Wheel" and draw the Defense to one side of the field to create space on the back side for your open teammates in Man-Up situations with this classic play.
  • 2-3-1 Man-Up Basic Wheel: Use this classic "Wheel" play to create space for the Extra Man at "X" to step in front of the goal. Score in as little as two passes!

Let us know if you get some sweet transition goals out of your team after running this drill at practice!