Use this simple long passing drill to practice those critical Clearing passes with your Defenders that move the ball down the field to your offense so your team gets tons of scoring opportunities!
The better you can Clear the ball, the more chances you get to go to the Goal!
Every coach has watched their team struggle with turnovers after playing good defense or making a big save. A bad pass or a bad catch when you finally get the ball can sink your whole team.
Beginning Defenders have trouble handling a long-pole sometimes. Their strength, hand-eye and body coordination just aren't there yet.
Remember- Clearing is a 7-on-6 game! When Clearing the ball from your defensive end, there are plenty of times when the open player is all the way on the other side of the field. This drill lets your players practice this crucial type of long, cross-field pass, "Over!" the Goalie to the other side.
- Related: Make sure you know the Basics of Clearing. Check out The Clear- A Youth Coach's Guide.
Use this simple drill with all your players to practice how to catch and throw long passes while they move the ball down the field to the Offense. Don't give the other team extra chances to score on you!
Here's THE DRILL:
Figure 1.) Start your players in two lines on either side of the goal. You could have just your Defenders do this drill, or mix in your midfielders. Any players you want to make sure know how to catch, throw, and run to be able to Clear the ball. (Hint: All of them.)
- Shoot the ball at your Goalie! Give your Goalies extra reps making saves in practice.
- Short is better than long! Your beginning players are more likely to catch a bad bounce pass when they first start out than one that goes high over their heads.
- Keep the reps moving quickly so all your players get plenty of practice just running, catching and throwing.
- Remember to keep time for all your drills and games to keep your players and practice on schedule.
RELATED PRACTICE DRILLS:
- "Over!" Redirect Clearing Pass Drill for Defense: Try this 3-man drill for another way to practice these critical Clearing passes to get the ball down field away from your goal.
- 1-on-1 Revenge Clearing and Dodging Drill: All your players get to play both sides of the ball each rep.
- The Old "43" Clear: The Punt Return. Make sure all your players are comfortable running the ball down field the old-fashioned way. All your Midfielders should be comfortable carrying the ball against 1-on-1 pressure.
Let us know what kind of results you see in your Clearing Passes when you use this drill with your team!