Short Stick Sideline Clear vs 3-3 Deep Zone Ride

Clearing against the 3-3 Deep Zone Ride can give high school and even college teams lots of trouble. Try this simple play we see college teams use to get the ball down the sideline away from your own goal to your offense!

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Short-Stick Sideline Clear

This is a simple but genius variation on a standard Clearing play that every coach should know and every team should be able to use to get the ball down the field away from your own goal into the sticks of your offense.

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Don’t “Over-Commit” on Defense

We love Defense, but it can be very difficult to teach younger and beginning players how to play good Individual AND Team Defense. Here are a few easy drills for Defense you can use with your Team!

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The “Attack Back” Clear

Clearing can be one of the toughest things to teach younger players. Use this simple play to get one of your Attackmen to come back to your Goalie for an easy, open pass and trigger numbers-advantage situations at the other end of the field!

"Clearing" can be the ultimate test of a team's stick skills, communication, and lacrosse IQ. Just getting the ball away from your own goal is one of the most common challenges that coaches at every level will see. But Clearing doesn't have to be a frustrating scenario to teach players new to the sport. No matter what level you coach, it's critical you teach all your players to understand this common game situation.

From youth to pro lacrosse, the most successful teams are usually the ones that Clear the ball the best--usually over 80 percent of the time. If your team can't Clear well, chances are you are spending most of your games on Defense, and your players aren't getting very many chances to score. It can be a disappointing downward spiral when your players start giving the ball back to the other team every time.

The "Attack Back" Clear might be common knowledge for most of us. It has been a Lax Classic for at least 50 years. But that doesn't mean it's not effective. This is an easy way to draw the Riding Defense one direction, and get one of your men open in another part of the field.


attack back clear play defense

Figure 1.) Here's the Secret: Clearing is a 7-on-6 game! With six (6) Blue Defenders plus the Goalie (6+1=7) against the six (6) Red Attackers in the play, any time your team gets the ball, you have the numbers advantage. This is why college teams usually look so calm when they are Clearing--they know they have an open man. Make sure your team understands how to work this numbers advantage so they can get the ball down the field to score!

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  • Use this play sometimes to mix things up on the Clear. If you try this Clear every time you get the ball, the Defense will most likely start to "Match Feet!" and Ride in more agressive Man-on-Man coverage.
  • Keep Space! Remember to work the 7-on-6 situation first! Don't let your Attackman come back too far and clog up the field for your Midfielders and Defense.
  • Don't go Offsides! Be mindful of the offsides rule. If one of your Attackmen goes over, your midfielder has to stay in the Attacking end of the field in cases of bad passes, turnovers, etc.


No matter what Clears you use, make sure to let us know if you start getting more possessions and more scoring opportunities after working on Clearing with your team!

Work the “Ladder” on the Clear

"Clearing" the ball away from your own goal can be the most frustrating part of coaching youth or high school lacrosse. Use this simple sideline play that every coach needs to know to get the ball safely down field into the sticks of your Attackmen.

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Substitution Box Clear

This is another simple Clearing Play we saw several teams using to start great Fast Breaks in summer tournaments this week. Every good coach should know how to use the substitution box to their advantage when moving the ball down the field.

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The “D-Pole Deep” Clear

We saw a U15 middle school team run this simple Clear several times in the same game in a summer tournament this week. Use this play with your team to start some great Fast Breaks and get a few Long-Pole Goals!

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8 Ways to Upgrade Your Pregame Warm-Up Drills

We are on the field and in the stands every day watching what different high school and college coaches are doing with their teams to get ready for game time. Here are 8 ways you can upgrade your pregame warm-ups to get your players feet and sticks moving and maximize their touches on the ball.

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Defense Footwork and Ground Ball Drill

This is a classic drill that many coaches use in practice and pregame warm ups to get their Defenders' feet and sticks moving, ready to play good 1-on-1 Defense, and also to pick up loose balls and move them down the field right away.

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“Over!” Redirect Clearing Passing Drill for Defense

Clearing is a critical and unique part of lacrosse that many coaches have trouble teaching. Use this classic drill to practice long passes with your defenders, and teach your midfielders to cut to get open for the ball.

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