My Favorite Drill

The question of this week is a good one!

Question: What is your favorite drill?



Answer: One of my all time favorite drills I learned from Maggie Koch when I was a freshman at Syracuse.

I’ve never been bad at clearing, having transitioned from softball I felt like I had a good grasp on the mechanics behind a basic throw, but my freshman year I still had a lot to learn in terms of timing. So became my favorite drill which taught me this precise lesson. It’s simple, looks cool and really only involves 1-2 extra people and no need for a goal.

The set-up:

Start in the crease or at a specific spot on the field, and have one of your friends break out for a clear starting at the 8m (or 10 yards away if you don’t have a lined field). Work the same clear pattern over and over again until you become comfortable with how fast they are going to cut. Make sure you tell them to go at the same speed every time. After 3-4 reps, the fun begins.

Say “Go” and have your friend start their route. Watch 2-3 steps max and close your eyes. Yes, I did just say close your eyes. Visualize in your mind’s eye when your friend is breaking out of their route and throw them the ball at the same time that you think you would as if your eyes were open. It sounds challenging, but what you’ll come to learn is that clearing with your eyes closed actually forces you to think about where your teammate will be, rather than where they are. Soon enough after a handful of clears you’ll be able to hit your target accurately and while they’re on the run.

After you’ve mastered one kind of cut or route, go back to having your eyes open and work another kind of cut. Good routes to practice are a banana cut, a corner route (towards the corner of the endzone) a post route (towards the center of the endzone), a cut back, an in and/or out route and anything else you find your defenders routinely making. Over the shoulder clears will be hard, but again, when you close your eyes you’re forcing your mind to work. All too often we’re using our eyes as judgements when we should be thinking about where our teammate will be, not where they are presently.

Try it out this week in your practice and watch your teammates be amazed that you can clear with your eyes closed!

Looking for more drills? Check out our Goalie Drill E-Book by Clicking Here (you will be redirected to our main website).

Hope this helps, and remember, if you have any questions, send them our way by submitting a question to our Question Bin- HERE!


About the Author


Our mission is to use mental and physical training to help our athletes succeed not only as players, but as people off of the field as well. We live by 2 basic principles: Be Fearless, Never Stop Learning.

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