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Clearing Drill

by Kort
(California)

obviously red balls are defence. black is ball.

obviously red balls are defence. black is ball.

Overview: This drill is one of the most basic and necessary defensive drills. It practices moving the ball down field after a save or a turnover. For this drill you practice clearing off of a save, although you can augment it as you see fit to incorporate different scenarios.

The Drill: Start out with three defenders and a goalie in their normal defensive positions. Then, either have a goalie pick up a ball or borrow and offensive player to take a shot. Once the goalie makes the save, he needs to shout the word CLEAR at the top of his voice so all of his team can hear. At that point the defenders move to the spots shown in the diagram. Now at this point you can mix the drill up. The places that the wing defenders break to can differ depending on the attack's style of "riding" the defense. If one of the attack steps up to harass the goalie, then the defender he leaves should be vocal and let the goalie know he is open. On the other hand, if the attack all press up on the defenders, the defense should spread out. If they cannot get open in the first few seconds (remember the goalie can only stay in the crease for four seconds citation needed), the goalie can leave the crease and advance the ball to a side, thus drawing the riding attack off of the defender.

Remember:
1) Have the goalie change who he passes to every time you clear so he gets used to all of his options.
2) Unless your team has exceptional stick skills or he is wide open, I would not recommend passing to the middle defender except as a last resort. The reason for this is because if he drops it or is stripped, the ball is now in the most dangerous spot of the field: the middle.
3) Practice this drill often and try to get it running smoothly. Remember, you only have 30 seconds to advance the ball past the half.
4) It is also beneficial to have attack players come and practice riding the defense in this drill to create a game situation.
5) The crease defender breaks out to the side opposite of where the shot came from.

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