4v4v4 Fuels Competitive Fires

By Loree Payne, head women’s coach at Puget Sound University in Tacoma, Washington.

This drill does it all – works on scoring with a numbers advantage, defensive communication, hustling back on defense, matching up and digging deep to beat teammates.

Why use it

A level of competition should be a part of everything you do in practice. This drill pits three groups of four players against each other.

Set up

Divide players into three groups of four. Place four minutes on the clock. Give one group (in this example, it’s the white jerseys) a ball and position them behind half-court in position to attack an awaiting defensive unit (red jerseys). The defenders have two players on the floor and two waiting to get into play. The final group (blue) is positioned behind white to play defense.

4v4v4 Fuels Competitive Fires

How to play

The first group (white) attacks 4-on-2. As soon as the ball crosses half-court, the remaining two defenders sprint to touch part of the center circle, then hustle back on defense. Also, the offense has 10 seconds to shoot once the ball crosses mid-court [1]. Once white scores or red rebounds (or forces a turnover), red heads in the opposite direction to attack blue with a 4-on-2 advantage [2]. The same actions continue with red against blue – 10-second shot clock and the addition of two defenders once the ball crosses mid-court [3].


If a team scores, the defenders don’t have to take the ball out of bounds. Play for four minutes and whichever teams scores the most wins the drill. Defensive communication is critical for the two players entering the floor – players must match up quickly to slow the offense.

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