The "Brush" Pass

The brush pass is performed from the 5-bar to the 3 bar in normal circumstances or from the 2-bar to the 5-bar in singles.  We are going to concentrate on passing from the 5-bar to the 3-bar.


So you want to do a brush pass, okay first let's talk about where to brush from.
1-Note I placed a spare yellow man on the play field to show the full distance that your nearest 5-man will go.
2-See I have placed the ball half way between the wall and the furthest the man will go.
3-Note the distance behind the rod the ball is positioned

Figure A

Step 1.  Place the ball where I have indicated, do NOT try to tick tack or roll the ball at first, just set it there.

Step 2.  Put your passing man (the man nearest the wall) over the ball.
-Practicing moving the MAN side to side (never up and down) as close to the ball as possible without touching the ball, this is called "hovering over the ball".  Imagine that the ball is rolling ever so slowly.
-While hovering over the ball, your passing man should never move so far as to go beyond the scope of the ball.  You want it to look like you could pass at any moment, when you get better you will be able to do just that!

Step 3.  Scoop/pinch the ball in the direction you want it to go.  Brush up to the lane or brush down for the wall.
-NEVER hit, swing at or strike the ball.  You hover so close to the ball that you actually push or steer the ball.
-When you perform the actual brush you need to be looking at the defenders men.  This can be tricky because your mind will want to brush the ball into the defenders man, you must break this natural tendency as soon as you can.
-Do not practice with the defenders men turned up, you must have them down to practice avoiding them.
-The motion of the brush is all in the first inch of the pass.  You will have done the steer/brush part of the pass before the ball even moves 1 inch.  Over exaggerate the motion of the brush!
-Follow through the ball.  Just like in golf, a good portion of the pass is the motion through the ball!
-We know where to start the brush, from the image above.  You will need to know how far to brush it.  The easy way to think of it is as far as you can. 
-For the wall or the down, you want to have the ball go to the corner of your man or even better would be to hit the wall as it goes by the defender.  Hit the wall right where the defenders man is.  This will give you the highest chance of getting the ball through the hole.
-For the up, look at the image below.  You want the brush to go up as far as you can, without making it possible for the defenders 2nd man to catch it!

In the picture above you see a "brushed" ball going through the lane.  Note it is as far over as it can get without the defenders next figure touching it!

-HINT:  The defender will be watching you, so try to fake and trick, not race!  Do not try to overpower the defender, try to pass to the OPEN hole.
-HINT:  The defender will see the ball slowing down, so as the ball slows, they will expect a pass so let them commit to the wall or lane before you do the pass.  Do NOT let the ball stop though, that would be illegal.

See the catch section to see how to catch a passed ball.

1.  Set the ball up as in Figure A and practice hovering over the ball, then in a smooth motion brush to the wall or the lane.  Alternate, do not just do all walls for a while then all lanes.
2.  Practice with the defenders men.  Put them in front of you and brush around them.  How far can you move the defenders man and still get around it.
3.  Practice the catch.

The Pitch:
Now try to pitch the ball from the 2nd figure and get it to barely roll over the "magic" spot where you want to pass from.  Do this many times until you can slowly, ever so slowly, roll the ball right over the spot you want the ball to go.

When you can brush easily, when you can pitch the ball every time, then try to combine it all.
-Do not slam the wall when you brush down, it is all in the first inch.
-Do not give away the pass, very small motions will do the trick.  Big motions are just easy to see by the defender.  Remember, the hover never goes off the ball.

So, are you doing the Brush pass now?