Tufts/Brown 5-on-4 Clearing Passing/Slow Break Drill
Our favorite game situation drill right now has a little bit of everything! Give your Defenders touches to get the ball down field, ground balls, then some numbers-advantage transition scoring situations to end practice any day!
We got this drill doing some preseason work with NCAA DI assistant coaches. They said they got it from DIII power house Tufts and DI Brown, who was doing some very exciting things with two LSM's on Offense a few years ago. Wherever it came from, we love it!
Combine multiple skills into one drill!
College coaches are very good at focusing on multiple skills, situations, and roles into one activity, making the absolute most of their practice time. This drill combines passing, Clearing, a ground ball, transition scoring opportunities, Man-Up/Man-Down, defensive help, communication, and rotation, plus a little hidden conditioning. You can also make it into a 5-on-5 scrimmage if you want!
Slow Breaks happen almost as often as Fast Breaks!
Especially at the High School and College level, 5-on-4 Slow Breaks happen almost as often as 4-on-3 Fast Breaks! Make sure you spend time practicing both! Let your players play out these more complex game situations with longer reps and second or third chances by throwing in an extra ball before you rotate.
- Related: Try this 5-on-4 Slow Break Ground Ball from the Sideline we got from one of the top NCAA DI teams.
- Related: Or try this 5-on-4 "Jailbreak" drill we got from MLL Training Camp
- Related: And definitely make sure your team has a good 5-on-4 "Trailer Break".
- Related: Notre Dame runs this 5-on-4 Half Field Drill as part of their pregame warm ups.
Scale your drills up or down to meet your team where they are!
5-on-4 situations can be chaotic and complex, even for college players sometimes. This drill can work just as well as a 4-on-3 or a 6-on-5 Drill. Make game situations in practice challenging for your team, but not too challenging where they can't learn or accomplish anything.
If you need to, you can take it down to a 3-on-2 situation with this easy "Maryland" 3-on-2 Drill that we use with our Youth Field and Box teams. For us, 3-on-2 is the sweet spot for most of our teams and players to understand and execute the skills and concepts in most drills.
HERE'S THE DRILL:
Figure 1.) Start four (4) lines of Defenders (Red) along the End Line. Start three (3) Attack lines (Blue) on the Wings and behind the Goal at X, but outside the field. They will come in for the second part of the drill. Start two (2) lines of Midfielders up top at the Midfield line.
The Coach or Goalie will throw out a pass or loose ball to one of the two middle lines of Defenders (Red 2 or 3) to start the Clear. Red 2 will pass to Red 3 as all four Defenders break down field to Clear the ball.