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?
|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.
|Focus||Creating Seperation 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||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||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?
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.
|Have two groups of 4 players. This will create a work to rest ratio of 1:1. The white group carries out the exercise as before, but the red group now stands off the right hand shoulder of a player as they receive the ball. The red players have a yellow and red disc in their hands.
The Exercise: All of the previous movements apply, but now as the ball is traveling to a player, that player MUST take a look over his shoulder “take a picture”(the resting/red player should hold up one disc red or yellow) and shout out the color of the disc before receiving the ball.
Rotation: After 3 minutes rotate the white and red groups. After both groups have gone, repeat in the opposite direction.
Download this exercise [Dick Bate Passing Square]