Quickly transition from defense to attack and score with numbers-up.

Side by Side 3v2 Continuous.

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

Objective: To score in a numbers up situation and defend with takes and move the ball quickly to your attackers.

Set Up: 

  • Split your team into two teams, each with a goalkeeper. Extra players wait behind the transition player and can substitute in during the session.
  • On one side of the drill grid is two of the Navy defenders versus three White attackers (3v2) and attacking in the other grid are three Navy attackers and two White defenders (3v2). Both sets of 3v2 never cross over into the other grid. If the ball crosses the midline (yellow strip cones) then the other set of 3v2 plays the ball. Sticks and feet cannot cross the yellow strip midline (Drill View A).

The Drill:

  • The play starts by looking at Drill View B. The Navy goalkeeper grabs a ball from the side of the cage (note the four ball piles in the drill; two on the outside of each goal cage and one each with the transition (T) players) and clears it to their Navy attacking players in the opposite grid. The defending two White players CANNOT intercept the goalkeepers clear. The 3v2 is played out until they score, or the ball is shot out of bounds.
  • If the 3v2 Navy team scores, it’s make-it-take-it and they immediately get a ball from their Navy transition (T) player.

  • If the 3v2 Navy team missed the cage, then the White teams’ goalkeeper grabs a ball from the side of their cage and clears it to the White team attackers. This continues for a 5-minute set.

  • Any ball that goes over the sidelines is a restart like a regular game. Any ball going over the endline (from ANY team) is a restart by that goalkeeper to the other grid.

  • Keep track of goals scored and after the 5-minute set have teams gather and discuss goals for the next set.

  • Switch cages for the next set. Play three sets of 5-minute games.

Points of Emphasis:

  • Tight space released shots and heads-up mentality to be aware of where the space is after a take.


  • Coaches can split their team Into four teams for the drill and have them rotate through versus each other for a tournament style.
  • Coaches can set up two sets of the drill at either end of the field.
  • To change the level of the drill, teams can play 2v3 Instead of 3 v2 to change the parameters.
  • This Is a high octane and engaging drill for goalkeepers.