Training Effective Defensive Clearances

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter.  Today’s featured activity works on defensive clearances.

Because of the tremendous success of teams such as Barcelona and Spain’s national team there is a great emphasis on playing out of the back but all teams (and players) have to clear balls from time to time. Most teams don’t work on it much because it’s not a glamorous type thing to work on but too often, it’s the difference between winning and losing.

Start with a back around the 12 yard spot and servers spread out 30-40 yards out.

Start by having the servers play simple balls into the box for the back to clear.  Some balls can be played in the air, some on the ground and the one condition is the clearance must be one touch

Gradually add more difficult balls which the back has to get to before clearing the ball to safety

Next have the servers play balls behind the back

In the last example the back played the ball over the end line which would result in a corner kick.  While this isn't ideal, the alternative might be much worse so it’s important that the backs understand that this is sometimes acceptable.

You can add multiple backs and then some opposition to pressure and you can add a keeper to work on communication but the key is to make sure players have experience in this type of a situation.

Have a great day!


By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

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