Long Kick/Clearance drill into 3v2 Small-sided game

The following activity was created to fulfill the request of an under-18 recreational team coach co-ed to work on the following:

  • Get the ball away from pressure vertically
  • Decrease in effective playing space after long ball (move up as a unit)
  • Progress immediately after gaining possession

Regarding the cones and its different colors, the concepts was:

  • Red lines – most dangerous zones
  • Yellow lines – moderate danger zones
  • Blue lines – comfort zones

Therefore, players were instructed to kick diagonally to the sides, trying to avoid a possible second ball for the opponent in central areas, in addition to increasing the chances of a quick counterattack.

Another guideline is that immediately after the long kick the defensive trio would run forward at full speed, meeting the objective of reducing the effective space of play if the opponent recovers the ball in addition to increasing the chances of winning a possible second ball.

It is very important to note that the activity was designed and carried out simply because it is a non-competitive group with a low technical level. Obviously several errors happened and the activity did not go “pretty” as in the video. I tried to illustrate an error in the third play that happens in the video where the kick comes out in a straight line and the attacking trio makes bad decisions.


  • Clearance/long kick coming also from the defenders on the flanks (left and right)
  • Clearance/long kick with the ball rolling towards the defenders
  • Clearance/long kick with the ball being thrown towards the defenders
  • Add opposition on the clearance/long kick moment
  • (Your ideas?)

Coaching points:

  • Why is it better direct our clearances to the sides?
  • Why run forward straight after the clearance?
  • Why does the red vertical zone goes up to the midfield?

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