The 4 v 4 Advantage Drill looks to bring an incentive for teams to push the ball up the floor and attack quickly from either a Fast Break or an Offensive Transition situation. The 4 v 4 Advantage Drill encourages this by artificially creating a numbers advantage for the offensive team during transition from one end of the floor to the other. The principle of the 4 v 4 Advantage Drill can be applied to any fast break, offensive transition or half court system. This makes the drill exceptionally useful and extremely versatile for use.
The 4 v 4 Advantage Drill starts with players playing in the half court.
If the offensive team scores or the defence rebounds the ball, the player who shoots, before taking part in transition defence, has to run and touch the baseline.
In the diagram above Three (3) once shooting the ball if it scores, or the defending team secures possession, then will have to go and touch the baseline before then moving onto defence.
The defensive team once securing possession from either inbounding the ball following score or rebounding a missed shot moves straight into offensive transition.
If the ball is stolen or deflected then a 4 v 4 situation occurs without a player needing to touch the baseline.
Points of Note
One of the main benefits for the using the 4 v 4 Advantage Drill is that the effect is only temporary. This allows the advantage principle to be integrated into a wide range of activities, but used consistently to improve the early scoring execution of a team. One point of note commonly overlooked is that the advantage principle is applied to reach a scoring situation, but this can be more than just one scoring situation. Stopping the 4 v 4 Advantage Drill after a score while initially providing an opportunity for feedback, should be extended to multiple possessions so players have to apply the scoring system of the team in many different situations that arise in normal play.
Additionally, just because the 4 v 4 Advantage Drill looks to create an advantage in the fast break or transition situations faced by a team, it will not guarantee teams a scoring option. In some cases, the shot that is presented will not be the right option for the team. For example, the free player might receive the ball in a position outside of their own shooting range, and therefore a poor option would be for this player to shoot. In these situations, the offensive team should continue with the offensive play for general play. By having this mindset when applying the advantage principle it can be used in many 4 v 4 or 5 v 5 activities, but still creating an incentive for teams to push the ball and look for an early scoring opportunity.
The easiest variation for the 4 v 4 Advantage Drill is to increase or decrease the number of players involved in the activity. For teams that are implementing the principles of passing the ball ahead and scoring consistently, adding an additional player will have the effect of making 5 v 5 situations that will be the most game like scenario possible. Adding an additional defender will make scoring for the offense a little more challenging. Especially if the focus of an offensive team is to pass ahead and find the overlap.
For teams that are struggling initially with the implementation of an offensive philosophy during a fast break. It can be of assistance to reduce the number of players involved in the drill. Starting the 4 v 4 Advantage Drill’s progression with only three players can be of assistance, especially with junior teams. Having fewer players on the court will allow for greater width between offensive players so the defenders are spread greater which should result in better driving lanes for each individual. Additionally, less defenders means less effective help defence that again will assist with offensive players scoring more easily.
The 4 v 4 Advantage Drill looks to provide time for an offensive team to practice, refine and master the fast break and offensive transition phases of their playbook. The 4 v 4 Advantage Drill helps provide successful experiences through encouraging a team to push the ball, find the open player and scoring. Just because a team has a numbers advantage does not mean the result will always be a broken play score, but rather the optimum outcome is for players to find the right scoring option for the team.