Dick Bate Passing Box

Set-up

Groups of 4 players with one ball.  Place extra balls either in the grid or nearby to keep the exercise flowing in the event of mistakes.    The Square should be approximately 15×15 yards.  There should be three discs at each corner of the square (as pictured).    The Goal of this exercise is to help program movements into our players while also helping them develop proper habits to read the game and play in a creative manner. 
Creating Separation from a Defender

Players should start on the furthest disc from the player they’ll be receiving the ball from (Player C & D’s position in the left hand picture).    

1st Movement:  When player B takes his/her first touch “prepares the ball”, player C should break off the disc “separate from the defender” and show into the space to receive a pass from B.  Player D should now be prepared to separate from the defender on player C’s preparation touch.  Exercise continues.   

Focus

  • Crisp Passing 
  • Explosive Separation from defender 
  • Head on a swivel- Can we take a look at where we want to play next as the ball is traveling? 
  • Clean 1st touch 

Moving Away from the Ball

Players should now start on the closest disc from the player they’ll be receiving the ball from (Player B, C & D’s position in the left hand picture).    

2nd Movement:  Just as player A is about to pass the ball to player B, player B drifts backwards (moves away from the ball) to create additional space before receiving the ball.  When player B takes his/her first touch “prepares the ball”, player C should drift away (exercise continues).

 Focus

  • Crisp Passing 
  • Creating that extra yard or two of space upon receiving the ball 
  • Head on a swivel 
  • Clean 1st touch 

Introduction of Midfield Connector

Players should  now start on their central disc.   Two  midfield  players  (red)  are now introduced  into  the exercise.   

Final Movement:    Just as  player A is about  to  pass the ball to  player  B, player B  “checks away” (moves away from  the space  he/she  wants to  receive the  ball) to create separation  from  the defender.   As  player B is  about to receive the  ball one  of the central midfielders  should show  for  support.  It’s  important that the midfielder  times his/her  run to  arrive  on  time (not  to  early, not  to  late).   Can  player B  slip  a pass to  the midfielder  and  quickly move to receive a return  pass?     

Focus

  • Crisp Passing 
  • Preparing the space 
  • Head on a  swivel 
  • Timing of  support runs 
  • Playing  with  various surfaces  (outside  of  foot, inside, etc.) 
  • Communication 

Note:   The  group of  four  does not need  to  enter  the  ball into  the midfielders.  Midfielders should keep  a  balance (one shows,  one holds  central) to  mirror their movements and interactions in a match. 
This is an outstanding warm-up to  help  program players with a proper skill set  to meet the demands of the modern game, movement off the ball,  timing of runs,  crisp passing, taking a look!,  but for the  exercise to truly be effective, the coach MUST demand that all  the  movements &  requirements of the exercise are carried out at  game speed.   Coaching Demand:   If you let your players get away with things that wouldn’t work in the game during training!   What is the point of  training? 

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