Check out this super simple warm-up drill the Pros use to get their sticks and feet moving at the beginning of practice to work on clearing, fundamental stick skills, and shooting all at the same time!
We got this great drill from New York Lizards Attackman Tommy Palasek (Syracuse/Hopkins), who is currently leading the team in points this season. Palasek was a big-time goal scorer at Syracuse before being drafted by the Lizards in 2012.
Use this drill with your team any day at practice to work on moving the ball all the way down the entire field. Palasek says they usually do this right after line drills and Goalie warm-ups to get some conditioning work in and get the Goalies seeing some shots.
Keep It Simple... (K.I.S.S.) This is one thing we really love when we talk to pro players and coaches- the things they work on are not complicated or fancy, they are usually very simple. The big difference is that the pros do them better and faster every single time.
HERE'S THE DRILL:
Start your players in six lines- two along each side of the goal at Goal Line Extended (GLE) on both ends, and one line on each side of the field at the Midfield line.
Figure 1.) Blue 1 will break out from the Alley. This could be a Defender or a Midfielder. This is a very common Clearing pass to the wing that all your players should be able to make. Blue 1 can break up field along the sideline or to the middle.
Most coaches tell younger players "never to the middle" because it's a dangerous place to turn the ball over, right in front of your own goal. More advanced players shouldn't have that problem.
- Put extra balls at each line and in both goals to keep the drill moving!
- Start a ball at both Goalies at the same time! Keep both sides of the field moving. Extra work and extra reps in the same amount of time.
- Stop the drill halfway through and reverse direction: Practice passing and shooting from both sides of the field, working on both dominant and non-dominant hands.
- Give your Goalies something they can handle! Don't let your players stand still and rip on your Goalies from in close and with no Defense. Work on bounce shots, shooting on the run, weak hand shots, etc.
- Short is better than long! A short pass in front of your players still gives them a chance at a ground ball. A long pass over their heads gives them no chance.
RELATED PRACTICE DRILLS AND PLAYS:
- "Over!" Redirect Clearing Passing Drill for Defense: Use this basic drill to practice critical cross-field passes your Defenders will need to make in games!
- "Over!" Redirect Clearing Passing Drill 2: Another great passing drill for Defense to practice critical cross-field Clearing passes. Don't give the ball back to the other team!
- 6-on-6 Face-Off Clearing Drill: Use this simple set-up to practice Face-Offs and Clearing before your Offense gets the ball in practice, just like in a game!
- Short Stick Sideline Clear: This is a Clearing Play we see college teams use all the time with this same wing pass from the Goalie.
- Short Stick Sideline Clear vs 3-3 Deep Zone Ride: This is the same Clearing Play against the troublesome Zone Ride that gives so many youth and high school teams lots of problems!