One of the things I hear a lot from coaches is that they want their team to be a fast-breaking team. And though, it is possible to run an efficient fast break without speed, you won't be a great fast break team without it. But one of the misconceptions of speed is that you must have a team of horses. I think with just a change in mentality and attitude, any team can really 'become' a good or great fast breaking team.

I came back late from our tournament today, so I only caught the fourth quarter of the game between the Warriors and the Grizzlies. If you watch Warriors games, it's easy to see why they average 108.2 ppg, good for second in the league. They push the ball at every possible opportunity. After made baskets, rebounds and off turnovers, the Warriors look to score every time, hence they are tops in the league in FGA at 88.9. Here are a few clips from tonights game with the Warriors pushing the ball,

The real key to a quick strike fast break is the outlet. A good outlet is worth more than pure speed alone because the ball can be moved through the air much faster than it can through a dribble. After every rebound, after every made basket, you need to have your players thinking outlet, you should send 1 or 2 players out on the break on long jumpers. These are all the little things that you can do to actually turn your team into a fast-break team, without increasing your players' actual speed.

11-man Fast Break:

I think most people have run an 11-man fast break in their lifetime, but I still like to run it because it's good at emphasizing the fundamentals of rebound, outlet score.

So pretty self explanatory, it's 3-on-2 going each way. On a miss, the rebounder will pivot and immediately look for one of the players coming out of the side line to push the ball and join the break, the player on the other sideline immediately breaks to the opposite wing. On made baskets, emphasize ripping the ball out of the net and outlet right away.

You will need at least 11 players to run the drill.


There are many advantages of being a good fast break team. You will be better at breaking presses if you can pass over top and score quickly. You can beat any kind of zone defense with good early offense. And you force teams to play at a pace that they aren't comfortable with.

If you're interested in an unique look at the fast break, take a look at Stu Vetter's DVD on the Fast Break. Coach Vetter is the head coach at Montrose Academy (HS where Kevin Durant went to school) and has some great ideas on reducing dribbles when fast breaking. Join the many coaches already talking about their favorite basketball topics at the X's and O's Basketball Forum.