(aka Clear the Ball). The first priority of defenders is to "clear the ball" (i.e., kick the ball) out of the "Danger Zone" (i.e., out of scoring range). If the ball is in front of your goal and in scoring range, the Defenders should "clear it" because a turnover would give the opponent a scoring opportunity. This is especially true in recreational soccer where players often don't have good skills. For Recreational teams, when the ball is in your Penalty Box, we recommend teaching your Midfielders to stay a pass away from the ball (15-20 steps) and your Forwards to stay a long kick (25-35 steps) away from the ball, and teach the MF's and Forwards to "shift and sag" with the ball, and teach your Fullbacks to clear it straight ahead. This way, your MF's and Forwards know what to expect, can position themselves to "win the ball", and you will have good field coverage. Your MF's and Forwards MUST fight for and win most of these cleared balls or you will probably lose the game. At higher levels of play the emphasis is on controlling the ball, but in Rec leagues teams often don't have the skill to "build an attack from the back", as it is called when the FB's pass to the MF's who pass to the F's, etc., and clearing it is the only realistic style of play. How to teach this Style of Play is described in SoccerHelp Premium. (See "Attacking", "Attacking Plan" and "Shift & Sag").
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