The Clear: A Youth Coach’s Guide

"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.

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The Animal Drill

This simple ground ball and passing drill is great for youth and high school lacrosse teams to help players develop stick skills, imitate game situations in practice, and work on everything from ground balls to dodging.

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4-on-3 Drill with 2-on-1 Up Top

This simple variation of the classic 4-on-3 Fast Break is a great drill for youth and high school teams. Besides improving passing, catching, and man-down defense, using this small twist at practice will get players to adapt and respond quickly to fast break situations during games. Read more

Teach Body Defense with the Bucket Game

Youth coaches everywhere struggle with beginning players that lunge or over-commit on defense, letting the man they are guarding run right past them. The Bucket Game is a very simple fix to this common problem, teaching players to keep their feet, hands, and bodies moving to stay in between their man and the goal.

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4-on-3 Box Passing Drill

The 4-on-3 Fast Break happens multiple times in every lacrosse game, especially with youth and beginners. This classic drill will help you teach your Defenders how to move and rotate as the ball moves. Its also great for working on passing and catching for your offensive players.

No matter what level you coach, make sure your team understands how to work the numbers advantage so they can score!

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4-on-3 Fast Breaks: The Basics

The 4-on-3 Fast Break happens multiple times in every lacrosse game, especially with youth and beginners. No matter what level you coach, it's critical you teach all your offensive and defensive players to recognize and respond to this common situation properly. Make sure your team understands how to work the numbers advantage so they can score!

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Play Good Defense. Maybe Don’t Teach the Poke Check First.

When teaching your players good individual defense, maybe don't teach the Poke Check first. We realize this might sound blasphemous, since the Poke Check is a classic. But we have heard that even top coaches like Dave Pietremala are getting away from it  (although don't quote us). In game situations, a beginning player is running at full speed, trying to poke the 2"-wide shaft or the ball carrier's bottom hand, both relatively small targets. Instead, teach them to play Body Defense with the Feet, Hips, Hands, Stick last.

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