Possess the ball in a tight space before breaking to goal.

Multiple Pass 3v1 to a Break Away 3v2.

NFHCA Field Hockey Drill of the Week, 4-2-1 Drill

Objective: To possess the ball for 3 (or more passes) in a tight space before breaking to goal. Defenders are looking to break the play early and release the ball to a coach/teammate in another area of the field.

Set Up: 

  • Make two boxes far left and right at the 50 yard line area. Generally, a 15×15 box is good to start with and make it smaller as the attack players get better. In each box put a 3v1 and then put two defenders and an attacker in the 25 yard red zone (Navy is on attack and White defense).

The Drill:

  • The Coach feeds a ball into a Navy attacker in the 3v1 box (to elevate the play allow the defender to intercept the coach’s ball otherwise, allow the ball to go to an attacker). The 3v1 players possess the ball for 3 passes or 5, or 7, depending on the team’s level of play.
  • Once the 3v1 attackers complete the required passes TWO of the Navy attack players break to goal and join their Navy teammate to break away against the two awaiting White defenders; a 3v2 to goal (the defender in the 3v1 grid AND one of the 3vI attackers stay in the box).
  • If the defense in the 3v2 comes up with the ball they look to get It up to one of their White defenders in the boxes or the coach at the middle of the 50 yd. line.
  • If the defender In the 3v1 box comes up with the ball they Immediately feed It back to the coach who distributes the ball to the other grid. This is a WIN for that defender and encourages the defenders to break the 3v1 passing quickly to send the ball to the other grid.


  • Coaches can make the break away number larger like a 4v3 or 5v4 or even a 5v5.
  • Split your team Into two even teams and spend 10 minutes with the Navy team on attack and then switch and have White on attack for 10 Minutes.
  • Keep track of defender takes in the 3v1 boxes and goals scored to find a winner at the end of the drill.