Start practice with this 3-on-2, full-court drill From Dave Witzig, Normal, Illinois

Coaches are always searching for new and exciting drills that will get their players warmed up and ready to go. The following 3-on-2, full-court drill works on several skills simultaneously and is one we use daily within the first 15 minutes of practice.

This multi-purpose drill is effective because it teaches players to:

  • Take advantage of a quick 3-on-2 situation.
  • Screen and cut during 3-on-3 play.
  • Break trapping presses by cutting into the middle of the floor.
  • Trap defensively while not committing fouls.
  • Protect the basket in fast-break situations.

How it works

Divide your squad into two equal teams (teams A and B as shown in the Diagram). One team should be positioned on a sideline, while the other team lines up downcourt on the opposite sideline.

DIAGRAM: 3-on-2 full-court drill. Three offensive players from Team A line up at half-court, with the middle player holding a ball. On the coach’s whistle, Team A attempts to score on Team B in a 3-on-2 attacking situation. Team B starts with two players defensively — one at the foul line, and the other in the lane positioned in front of the basket.

A third defender for Team B stands on the sideline and waits until the coach calls, “Third player in!” At that moment, the third member of Team B sprints in to offer defensive help turning the drill into a 3-on-3 contest.

If the offense (Team A) scores, it immediately goes into full-court press and looks to double-team everything it can in the backcourt. Meanwhile, two new defenders for Team A set up in the front court (one defender at the foul line and the other in front of the basket) and prepare to defend the basket.

Team B is now on offense and tries to break Team A’s full-court press. If Team A steals the ball, it tries to score again on its end. If Team B breaks the press and the ball passes half-court, the pressing defenders on Team A sprint off the court and return to their sideline.

Team B, after breaking the press, takes the ball downcourt and attacks Team A’s two back defenders in a 3-on-2 situation. The third Team A defender sprints in to provide defensive help on the coach’s call of, “Third player in!”

Games are played to eight points, with the losing team doing pushups or sprints. This drill is fast paced, aggressive and your players will love it!