Dick Bate Defending Box

​The Set-up: In a 10×10 box with a cone/disc placed in the center, divide 12 players into 4 groups of 3 with one ball per group. Two players from each group stand at the outer discs with one ball between them. The third player works as the defender.

The Exercise: The players on the outside pass the ball back and forth using two touches. The defender works on closing the space, moving at angles- dropping off & taking space, keeping sight of the ball, remaining in a good defensive position.

Note: The defender moves at full speed, but does not attempt to win the ball.

Rotate: Change defender every 60 to 90 seconds.

The players are divided by color to help clarify the diagram, but it isn’t necessary to do so for this particular exercise.

Mistake! The defender at the top of the diagram is tracking the ball laterally. This is an incorrect movement and should be corrected.

The Exercise: The players on the outside continue to pass the ball back and forth using two touches. The defender works on closing the space, moving at angles- dropping off & taking space, keeping sight of the ball, remaining in a good defensive position, but now when the coach says GO! (or whistles), the defenders quickly move across to defend the ball in the area that was directly behind them. Example, Red switches to defend the whites, white the reds.

Added Focus of Quick reaction & closing speed over greater distance.

Rotate: Change defender every 60 to 90 seconds.

Variation: Have the defenders move clockwise or counterclockwise on coaches command.

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