We love letting our players scrimmage at practice, but we make sure the Offense earns the ball first! Use this simple drill to work on critical pieces like Face-Offs and Clearing before your team gets to go to the goal, just like in a game!
Clearing and Face-Offs are two key ways to get your Offense the ball! The most successful teams are the ones that face off and Clear the ball the best- usually 50-80% of the time or more. These are two unique aspects of lacrosse that can give beginning coaches and players alike lots of headaches.
- Related: The Clear- A Youth Coach's Guide
Your team will not magically find themselves with the ball in your offensive end very often, yet many of us run our 6-on-6 drills that way in practice, simply giving the ball to the offense and blowing the whistle to start.
Spend extra time in practice on Clearing, then spend some more! Your kids will just think you're playing a "game" while really you're running three "drills" at once, ending with 6-on-6. We run our practices like this for youth, high school and college kids, and they all love it!
HERE'S THE DRILL:
Figure 1.) Set up your field like you would to play 6-on-6. Start three offensive Midfielders (Blue) and three defensive Midfielders (Red) at the midline for a Face-Off, just like you would in a game.
Now turn the two Face-Off Middies around so the defensive Midfielder (Red FO) is facing his own goal.
- Keep the drill moving quickly, just like in a game! Any time the Offense loses the ball, give the Defense the ball and let them Clear it again!
- Include substitutions in this drill! Make this drill even more realistic by only allowing your players to sub on the fly through the box, forcing the Offense to maintain possesion and forcing the Defensive players to match feet with the man they are guarding!
- Keep time! Make sure to time all your drills and games for your players age and attention span, and to keep your practice on schedule!
- Keep score to inject some competitiveness! We love keeping score for all our practice drills and games. For this drill, say one point for the Defense every time they Clear and two points for the Offense every time they score.
RELATED DRILLS & PLAYS:
- 1-on-1 "Revenge" Clearing and Dodging Drill: All your players get to play both sides of the ball in the same rep with this great two-part practice drill.
- 4-on-3 Full-Field Face-Off Fast Breaks: Use this great combination drill to work on Face-Offs, plus get Fast Breaks going at both goals in practice!
- 4-3 or "43" Clear- The Punt Return: This is a classic Clearing play that every coach should know, built on good old-fashioned leg work.
- "Guts" 3-on-3 Possession Drill: We use this great game at all our camps and clinics to teach players to move the ball, get open to help their teammates, plus cover their man on Defense.
- "Two Minute" Possession Drill: This is a classic practice drill that coaches have used for decades to teach their players to keep the ball, plus get some conditioning work done at the same time!