Half-Field Clearing and Shooting Drill

download PDF of this drill with variations

Full-Field Clearing and Shooting

As both a college player and coach, I was always enthusiastic about doing a full-field clearing and shooting drill.  With this type of drill, the catches and passes simulate those made in game situations. Placing two goals at the shooting end of the field (one between the crease and each restraining box side) and working the ball down both lanes creates a lot of reps and even some competition between the players on the two sides of the field.  Also, these types of drills just look pretty with no drops.  Here is an example of a full-field clearing and shooting drill.  Both sides run simultaneously but the diagram only illustrates one side of the field.  Add a third line of middies for shorter passes.

lacrosse full field clearing and shooting

Full-field Clearing and Shooting

My path as a lacrosse coach has been pretty unusual.  My first head coaching position was for NCAA Division 1 Radford University.  I am pretty sure I hold the record for youngest D1 head coach ever at 23!  Next I was a head high school coach in Harford county Maryland.  Over the past several years I have coached for the local youth program, was an assistant for North Western high school, and now head coach at st Amselm's HS in DC.

As a high school or youth coach having a whole field for practice is a luxury.  Trying to teach or simulate full field transition play was a big challenge.   How can you give your players a full-field experience with only a half-field?  This drill was developed to simulate full-field clearing and shooting .  


Half-Field Clearing and Shooting

Recommended for 16-28 players, U13 and up
(add more lines to create shorter passes for younger players)


  • Use a half-field for a full field drill
  • Simulates catches and throws made during transition
  • Flexible shooter position
  • Uses all or most of the team
  • Disguised conditioning
  • Team building through concentration and communication
    • How quickly can we get it around?
    • How many balls are in the air?


  • Making long passes and long catches (catch with your face, throw with your feet, deliver the pass)
  • Shooting on the run
  • Change hands - turn to outside or split
  • Fake before every pass or shot
  • Catch over the shoulder
  • Staying spread out
  • Talk the ball around


Half-Field Clearing and Shooting

w/M3 as shooter

  1. D1 or G picks up ground ball and passes (R) to D2 (a coach can feed ground balls to pace drill)
  2. D2 catches to outside (L), split or roll, then to pass (R) to M1
  3. M1 catches over the shoulder (R), turns to outside passes (R) to M2
  4. M2 catches over the shoulder (R) turns to outside passes (R) to M3.  When M2 catches, the next pass #1 starts!
  5. M3 comes out of the box catches (L) to outside, splits or rolls to pass (R) to A1
  6. A1 catches (L) to outside, splits or rolls to pass (R) to A2 then backs up shot at X
  7. A2 catches (L) to outside, splits or rolls to drive to weak GLE and feed M3
  8. M3 times up the cut to catch (L) and shoot (L) on the run or roll or split to finish (R) then rotates to M1 line (or D1 line for variation 1)


  • Goalies switch between throwing pass 1 and taking shots in the goal
  • D1 rotates to D2, D2 to D1
  • M1 rotates to M2, M2 to M3, M3 to M1
  • A1 rotates to A2, A2 to A1
  • Mirror the illustrated setup and rotation of passes to work opposite change of hands and shooting from both sides of the goal
  • Variation 1 – D and M rotate through all D and M lines (M3 goes to D1 after shot)
  • Variation 2 – Add a third attack line for crease play (pick and follow or screen and rebound)

This drill is very flexible.  Download the PDF to see other variations with A1 or A2 shooting.  The setup can be mirrored so that the passes go around in the opposite direction to work opposite hands in each position.  Add a crease player to work on screens (lost art?), picks and rebounds.  Rotate long sticks or goalies into the shooting line - they love that!

Let us know what you think or if you have any favorite similar drills in the comments!



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