Six Person Drill

In our diamond press one of our rules is “one and done”. This means that we will trap one time and then get back to our half-court defense. In order to be effective with our pressure we must not only do an effective job trapping, but also do a good job getting back into transition. The Six Person Drill is one of the drills that we use at St. Jerome’s to work on our transition defense.

Three offensive players line up on the baseline, with three defensive players facing them lined up across the free throw line extended. A coach will be on one sideline with the basketball. In each group we will have a 1 and 5 person with the third player being a 2, 3, or 4 player.

The drill begins when the coach tosses the ball towards the offense, as shown in diagram 34. The offense moves the ball down the floor on a fast break. X5 must get back to protect the basket, while X1 must get back to stop the ball near the top of the key. The third defensive player in the drill must touch the baseline before getting back on defense. After touching the baseline X3 will move quickly down the floor and become the third defensive player.

As the middle person on the fast break dribbles the ball down the floor, X1 moves out to stop the ball near the top of the key area. As the pass is made to the wing, X5 who was protecting the basket moves out to cover the person with the ball, as X1 drops back to protect the basket, as shown in diagram 35. Defensively we are concerned first of all with protecting the basket. We do not wish to give up a lay-up, and secondly we want to stop ball penetration, while putting pressure on the ball. The third person down the floor, in this case X3, will go ball side of the point. In this case the ball was passed to the left side of the defense, so X3 will come down the left side of the floor. X3 is now in position to intercept a pass made back to the point or to get in show position between the ball and the person at the top of the key. At the same time X5 is now pressuring the ball and X1 is not protecting the basket.

In the Six Person Drill the coach may have two players touch the baseline, as shown in diagram 36. In this case X1 and X3 must touch the baseline before going back on defense, thus leaving X5 to protect the basket creating a 1 on 3 situstion. What we want to do defensively is not give up a lay-up. We want to force the offense to shoot a jump-shot, even if this means an 8-10 foot jump-shot, which is better than giving up a lay-up. Consequently, X5 positions himself 1 1/2 to 2 steps in front of the basket and takes away any drive to the basket. X5 must not leave the basket area.

X1 and X3 move quickly down the floor after touching the baseline with each choosing a side of the floor, as shown in diagram 37. X1and X3 will try to increase the defensive pressure or be in position to rebound if a shot and already been taken.

Since it is X5’s responsibility to protect the basket, we will give X5 more repetitions in this drill, but it is important that we also put X1 in this drill because X1 must protect the basket until X5 gets into position. In fact, all players must protect the basket at one time or another, so it would not hurt to have everyone work in this drill.