“Boston” 8-Line Full-Field Clearing Passing Drills & Variations
We are using these great drills with our summer teams to keep our players busy at all times with long, full-field passes and runs that imitate the exact field locations and pass looks that we will use in our Clears!
We got this great passing progression drill from one of the coaches at Boston University earlier this summer. They just came off a great season, and are a really fun, exciting team to watch. We're big fans of up and coming programs like the Terriers. Always root for the Underdog!
GREAT PRACTICE AND PREGAME WARM-UP DRILLS!
We are using these with our summer teams instead of more traditional line drills. You can do these with as few as 10-12 and as many as 30-40 players. Run them both directions around the field to work both hands. Get multiple balls going, tons of touches, plus lots of hidden conditioning built in. And they like it!
These drills are also great for warming up your Goalies. The rest of the team is busy around the outside of the field. Your Goalies have to concentrate on the ball with distractions going on around them.
YOU CAN'T SCORE IF YOU CAN'T CLEAR THE BALL!
The best teams are the ones that usually Clear the best, usually 85-90% of the time, or more! We spend TONS of time on Clearing when we work with new teams and players. If you can't get the ball from your Defense, down the field to your Offense, you're not going to win many games.
Turning the ball over on the Clear right after you've just played lots of Defense can be an exhausting, frustrating downward spiral. We see games slip away from teams exactly like this all the time. Get the ball safely to your Attack, and give your Defenders, and especially your Goalie, a rest!
CLEARING PASSES ARE CRUCIAL!
Whether you're running the standard 3-1-3 Clear, a 3-2-2 Clear, or an Open Clear with your team, this drill practices the exact field locations, looks, passing options, and distances that your players will need in games, no matter what your preferred Clearing Formation is.
These critical Clearing passes are typically longer than most other passes, which is why many Coaches practice Long Passes with their Long Pole Defenders while the Offense is running Shooting or Positional Drills. But Midfielders and Attackmen need to practice Clearing too if they want the ball!
HERE'S THE DRILL:
Start your players in eight lines around the field: three up each sideline- one at Goal Line Extended (GLE), one at the Midfield Line, one at GLE at the other end. The last two lines will be in the center of the field, on either side of the Midfield Line. These are standard Clearing Formation positions for any team, no matter what Clear you run.
Figure 1.) Blue 1 run and pass "One Up!" to Blue 2 in front of him. Blue 2 can come back for the ball a little bit, but not too far! Remember which way you want to go- to the other goal!
Stay Wide! Make Space! Keep your players spread out as far and wide as possible. They need to practice throwing and catching these longer passes! Clearing is about stretching the Riding Attack, so don't let your players collapse their lines and shrink the field.