Pat Summitt 3 Lane Press Break Drill

It's October, which means that practices are basically right around the corner. One of the areas that most coaches stress out most over is the press break, at least I know I did. Especially, for teams that have average talent. I remember when I was head coach one year, I would stay up late into the night trying to think of press break drills to use with my athletically challenged team.

I went through some notes and found this great drill that a coach took down while at a Pat Summitt clinic (or video, not really clear). I wish I had done more of this while I was the head coach that year, instead of practicing a set press break which became too repetitive and predictable.


So, the basic idea is to train your players on how to be confident with the ball, learn to play without the ball, and work together in breaking pressure. The idea is that once they learn these fundamentals, you can incorporate them into your set press break formation (1-3-1, 1-2-2, etc...)

The setup is pretty simple. You go full court, you have 3 offensive players dividing the length of the court into 3 lanes.

- each player must stay in their lane
- 1 dribble only
- no cross court passes, no skip passes, only lane to lane
- players switch lanes on the way back

Coaching Points:
- emphasize the jump stop and triple threat
- to beat the pressure, come back to ball
- players must talk to each other all the way down the floor


Once they get to the halfcourt, the drill continues. Same rules, 1 dribble, stay in lanes, trying to score,

Coaching Points:
- always attack the basket
- communicate, communicate, communicate

After 1 or 2 iterations, you can add 4 players on defense simulating a full court press. Then you can slowly add 2 dribbles, cross court passing, etc..


Some more great tidbits from Pat Summitt:
- "If the players hate the drill, it must be good."
- "They'll play 1v1 all summer but when I get 'em they have to work without the
- "Don't take timeouts at practice, give 90 seconds breaks (same as a game)"
- "Players grab water during scrimmage and drills, keep practice moving"
- "I'm a three hour practice coach"

If you want to plan and prep like the master herself, then check out Pat Summitt's DVD on Game Preparation. Coach Summitt is the longtime coaching legend of the Tennessee Lady Vols. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to talk about this and your favorite basketball topics.