When in doubt, kick it out!

Have you ever been in this situation? You are in possession of the ball but have no options available to you. The opposing team is closing down on you and you risk losing possession if you continue to hold onto the ball. What do you do?

“When in doubt, kick it out” is what I’ve always said! Don’t worry I know what you’re thinking. Why would you want to turn the ball over to the other team? Well, if you’re in your own defensive third and a risky pass could result in a turnover, or you’re cornered and don’t have the opportunity to make a pass, it’s best to clear the ball out.

If you had made that risky pass or tried to get by the opposing player on your own, you could have lost possession, which could have lead to a scoring chance for the opposing team. By clearing the ball, you provide your teammates the opportunity to regroup and find an opposing player to mark. With your team better prepared to defend, there’s a better chance of regaining possession instead of being scored on.

Now you can also get smart with your clearances. Don’t think that you just have to kick the ball out. If you’re cornered, for example, along the sideline and an opposing player is putting pressure on you, turn and kick the ball against the player’s legs. If you aim correctly, the ball will deflect off the opposing team and go out of bounds resulting in a throw-in for you!