Soccer coaching tips for clearing the ball out of danger

There are some situations when your players simply need to kick the ball high and away from danger. The following soccer coaching tips describe the necessary skills and tactics to do this successfully.

It hurts me to say it, but sometimes the big hoof away from danger is the best way to save your team.

Remember the saying – if in doubt, kick it out!

You can play all the pretty football you like but if one of your players gives away a soft goal because he tried to control and play the ball out of defence you’re not going to be too happy.

Neither is the team.

Play the ball out from the back when you can but make sure your players are aware that if the ball is running free in the penalty area it’s okay sometimes to put it into the next field.

Even at international football level you have the big central defender who can buy a bit of time with a big clearance – the Italians, the Germans and the English can all play the ball out from the back, but they can also clear their lines when the defence is outnumbered.

Key soccer coaching tip for young players

With younger age teams, you will see the players kicking the way they are facing when their goal is under pressure. This can cause you and your goalkeeper pretty stressful situations when the ball is peppering your goal from their forwards and your defenders…


Try and get players to clear high to the side, away from the goal – no matter which way they are facing.

The technique for this soccer skill is simple – Eye on the ball, head over the ball, lean back and kick through the ball high and away.

In the older age groups, get players thinking about why they are clearing it:

Killing momentum

A smart defender may clear the ball not only to stop an enemy attack, but also to buy time and calm a game down. It is usually better to clear the ball out of bounds to take the sting out of an attack.

Tactical impact

When clearing the ball, it is difficult to be choosy about the precise direction. A good soccer coaching tip is to tell your players to try and clear it to an area near their own forwards, which could spark a counter-attack. This is especially true on a 7-a-side pitch.

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