Defensive Clearances- Up and Out

Chris Johnson 39,039 Views Rating 0 (0 Reviews)

This defensive soccer drill focuses on clearing balls from the defensive third of the field. Defenders are taught to handle difficult balls and clearing them high and wide.

Soccer Drill Diagram: Defensive Clearances- Up and Out

Soccer Defensive Clearances

This defensive soccer drill focuses on clearing balls from the back third of the field. Defenders are taught to handle difficult balls while clearing them high and wide.
Drill Setup

  1. Using half of a full-size field, place one defender on the goal line of their goal.
  2. Scatter 4 servers around the sidelines, each with a supply of balls.
  3. Place a few players wide and high on the field to act as a target player for the defender. 
Drill Instructions

  1. The defender starts on their defensive goal line.
  2. Each of the servers will take turns serving a flighted or low driven ball into the penalty area.
  3. The defender must quickly move off the goal line to clear the ball to one of their targets.
  4. The defender must make sure each ball clears the penalty area before hitting the ground.
  5. After the ball clears the penalty area the defender then sprints back to the goal line ready for the next service.
  6. Have each defender take 8-10 serves before rotating.
Drill Variations

  • Add a target player inside the penalty area to make the defensive posture more realistic.
  • Place 2 defenders and 1 attacker in the penalty area to help communication among multiple players.
Drill Coaching Points

  • The defender is looking to clear the balls high and to the outside of the field.
  • For older players, use the head for clearance when necessary.
  • Do not let the ball linger in the penalty area. The defender must react quickly and predict the flight of the ball.
  • First touch clearances are a must. However, if players mishandle the first touch, make sure a second effort is taken to clear the ball.
  • Players must be comfortable in front of their own goal.
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