Make the Floor Transition From Defense to Offense

If your team can make the floor transition from defense to offense quickly, you can find some quick, easy points on fast breaks.

Plus, your opponent may be less aggressive with offensive rebounding and their point guard may not penetrate as much because they’re worried about getting back to stop your fast breaks.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

So practice these floor transition drills, score more points and win more games!

By the way, would you like to learn how to dramatically increase your focus on learning these floor transition drills without ingesting a pill or drink?

Transition Drills

1) Floor Transition Drill

Start with four players on “D” and five on offense, with the defensive point guard at mid-court. One offensive player has the ball, the coach blows the whistle and the players fast break sprint to the opposite basket while the defense tries to stop the offense. The defensive point guard should attack the ball to try to make the ball handler go sideways or retreat. If the offense scores, they retain possession and do the same floor transition drill going the other way. Emphasize the defensive point getting the ball handler to go sideways so the rest of the defense can get back. Emphasize not trying to pick up players in transition.

2) Outlet to Wing Drill

Position two offensive and defensive rebounders near the basket and a defender guarding each wing. The coach takes a shot. If the offense gets the ball, they return it to the coach for another shot. If a defender grabs the rebound, have them pivot immediately on the outside foot toward the sideline and throw a two-handed overhead pass to the wing. Repeat this floor transition drill over and over, to both sides. Once in awhile, it’s good to have another player step into the outlet passing lane. This way, the rebounder must to look first for his receiver, before blindly making a bad pass.

3) Outlet to Center Drill

Set up just like you did for Transition Drill #2, except that you’ll replace the wing players with your point guard, centered above the foul line. For this situation, you want to get the ball out to the point guard. The rebounders will now look up the middle instead of out to the wing. Be sure to put a defender on the point guard so they learn they have to work hard to get open for the pass. Once the point guard gets the ball, they should pivot and start the speed dribble up the court. This floor transition drill ends at mid-court. Stop and repeat.

4) Get Down the Court

This floor transition drill focuses on rebounding the ball, getting a good outlet pass, and getting the ball down the court with hustle and good passes.

transition drills
Position three players around the basket and the coach takes a shot. Whichever player grabs the rebound stays in the middle while the other two fill the outside lanes. The rebounder gets a quick outlet pass to Player 2. Player 2 then passes the ball to Player 3 who should now be at about the foul line extended at the opposite end of the floor. Player 1 has sprinted up the court and Player 3 dishes to 1 for a no dribble lay-up.

Be sure all three players hustle and deliver clean, crisp passes in front of the receiver. This drill will work on conditioning, also.

As a variation, you can throw in some penalties. If a player is not where they are supposed to be for a pass, make them run five full-court sprints. After a bad pass, make them do 20-25 chest passes against the wall. Once the drill is running smoothly, you can add some defenders.

5) Pitch ‘n Fire Full-Court Drill

A full-court floor transition drill. It utilizes the passing, the speed dribble and receiving on the move, jump stop and the lay-up. It teaches the rebounder to get the ball in-bounds quickly after the shot goes in.

Divide players into teams of two and give each pair a ball.

Player 1 in-bounds the ball to Player 2, who has sprinted up the wing. Player 2 speed dribbles up the floor to the foul line, Player 1 runs down the opposite sideline, makes a 45-degree cut to the hoop, receives pass from Player 2 and goes in for the lay-up. Player 2 should come to a jump stop before making the bounce pass for the lay-up and the shooter needs to receive the pass on the move, jump stop to get control and lay the ball in off the glass.

Player 2 now grabs the ball out of the net before it hits the floor, steps out of bounds and in-bounds quickly to Player 1, who has switched to the opposite wing. Now they run the same drill back the other way. When these two players had hit mid-court, the next pair starts the same drill. Make sure that the rebounders are quick when in-bounding and that their partners are ready for the pass.

As a variation, you can reverse the direction so that the shooters come in from the left and have to make the lay-up with their left hand. You can also have both players sprint up the same sideline so the receiver makes the 45-degree cut from behind the passer.

6) Rabbit

Great fast break floor transition drill. Offense and defense consist of three players each. The offense starts on the baseline: one player in each corner and one under the basket (this player has the ball). Each defender faces each offensive player from the foul line extended. The defender facing the first corner is #1, the defender in the middle is #2 and the defender facing the other corner is #3.

The coach starts the drill by yelling out 1, 2 or 3. The offense heads up the court on a fast break while the defender who had their number called must sprint to the baseline and touch it. Then this defender must sprint back up court to try and help on defense. Meanwhile, the offense tries to score before this defender can recover.

7) 4 on 4 Transition Drill

This drill works on the offensive and defensive skills in the floor transition game. Position Team 1 (four offensive players) at the baseline and Team 2 (four defensive players) at the foul line. The coach yells the names of two of the defensive players and throws the ball to the offense. The offense tries to run their fast break and the defense tries to stop them. In order to give the offense a head start, the two defensive players whose names the coach called out have to first go touch the end line, and then sprint back to help on defense. Once the defense gains possession either by stealing the ball, getting the rebound, or after a successful basket, they quickly push the ball back up the floor for their own fast break opportunity. Once they score, or are stopped, the ball goes back to the coach and the players line up again. This time, though, Team 1 is on defense and Team 2 is on offense.

8) War Drill

This floor transition drill develops the skills for boxing out, rebounding and running the fast break off the rebound. You’ll divide your players into two teams of five for this transition drill. Position the defense in the paint: two at the blocks, two at the elbows and one at the foul line. The offense begins with all five players on the perimeter arc.

The coach shoots the ball up from about 15 feet out. The defenders must each find someone to box out and make contact before grabbing the rebound.

The offensive players all crash the boards and look to score immediately if they get the rebound. If the offense takes too long to shoot, start the transition drill again. Any defensive player getting the rebound will look for the outlet pass to get the fast break going. Once they transition up the floor, they can go for any offensive rebounds. However, once the defense gets the rebound, the drill is done. Set the teams up again and start the drill over from this end. Give each team about five minutes on offense and five minutes on “D”.

There will be no “out-of-bounds” so the players will rebound everything. Let the players be aggressive during this drill, but keep it under control and call all fouls (but be liberal here – let them “play”). Defensive players should use the proper box-out technique. You can use a scoring system like this: one point for each basket, offensive rebound and steal. Two points for three-pointers. Subtract 1 point for each foul. The losing team should run sprints.

9) What Is It?

This floor transition drill teaches the offense to recognize what defense is being played and then how to run the correct offense against it. Position the defense at half-court and the offense at the baseline. The coach, without allowing the offense to hear, tells the defense what defense to run. The offense starts their fast break, the defense runs to their defensive positions and they battle until there is a score or the defense gets the ball. This floor transition drill will help if your team has a tendency to play out of control.

10) Back-Tip Drill

A floor transition drill that works on changing from defense to offense very quickly. Start with three players close together about five feet in from, and facing, the baseline. Position a fourth player at half-court. Put a fifth player on the baseline and have them pass the ball to the middle player. This player turns and dribbles down the court while being chased by the outside two. The two chasers try to tip the ball ahead to the half-court defender. The half-court defender must try to slow the dribbler with “bluffs and fakes” so the two chasers can get the ball. Once the tip is made the half-court defender grabs the ball and the three defenders now transition to offense. The half-court defender must pass ahead after no more than two dribbles. Once the transition is made, the initial passer (who had started on the baseline) and the dribbler (who has just lost the ball) become defenders in a 3 on 2 fast break.