What Is Clearance in Soccer? How to Defend Like a Pro.

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OK, here’s the first thing you need to know about what is a clearance in soccer: It’s the art of getting the ball out of your own end! 

In soccer, a clearance is a defensive move to get the ball away from your own goal. It’s a simple concept, but it’s one that’s often overlooked. Clearances can be a lifesaver, preventing goals and keeping your team in the game.

Once we played in a soccer match where our team was losing by a goal. The other team was pressing us hard and we were struggling to keep the ball.

But then, one of our defenders made a great clearance, sending the ball flying out of bounds. We were able to regroup and eventually tie the game! Heroes.

Clearances are important for all levels of soccer, from the youth leagues to the professional level. They’re a basic skill that every player should learn.

What Is a Clearance in Soccer?

High School girl playing soccer

Last season, we were in a particularly intense soccer match where the other team was much better than us. 

They were constantly attacking our goal and we were struggling to keep the ball. But then, our fabulous goalkeeper made a series of amazing clearances, keeping us in the game. We eventually lost the match, but we were super proud of our goalie for her efforts!

We also played in a soccer match where one of our teammates made a clearance that was so good, it went straight into the other team’s goal! Both teams were giggling.

The thing we all loved about that clearance was that it wasn’t a fancy, over-the-top, move. It was just a simple, well-executed kick that got the ball out of danger.

That’s what clearances are all about; getting the ball away from your own goal, no matter how you do it!

The Importance of Clearances in Soccer

Clearances are an important part of soccer because they can prevent goals.

When a team is defending their goal, they need to get the ball away from the danger zone as quickly as possible. A clearance is a way to do this.

Women playing friendly match against each other

There are many different ways to make a clearance. You can use your head, your foot, or even your knee. The most important thing is to get the ball away from your own goal.

Here’s why clearances are so important for your win!

  • Preventing goals. Clearances can prevent goals by getting the ball away from the opposing team’s scoring opportunities. When the opposing team is close to scoring, a clearance can be a lifesaver.
  • Regaining possession. A clearance can also lead to regaining possession of the ball. If the clearance is made far enough away from the goal, the defending team can then start their attack.
  • Reducing pressure. Clearances can also help to reduce pressure on the defense. When the opposing team is constantly attacking, a clearance can give the defense a chance to regroup and catch their breath.
  • Maintaining possession. A clearance can also be used to maintain possession of the ball. If the clearance is made to a teammate, the team can then continue their attack.
  • Changing the point of attack. A clearance can also be used to change the point of attack. If the clearance is made to the other side of the field, the team can then start their attack from a different area.

How to Make a Stunningly Good Clearance

Women on soccer practice match

The longest clearance in recorded history was made by David Beckham, who kicked the ball 262 yards!

You’ll get a whole new appreciation for Becks once you know that the average clearance in soccer travels about 25 yards! 

Clearances are most common in the final third of the field, where the opposing team is most likely to score.

Here are some of our best tips on how to ace it. 

1. Be Decisive

Don’t hesitate when you make a clearance. Just get the ball away from your own goal.

Like a good joke, a good clearance should be quick and to the point. Don’t overthink it. Just kick the ball away as hard as you can.

2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Make sure you know where the other players are so you don’t accidentally hit them.

A good clearance should be accurate, too. Don’t kick the ball so hard that it goes out of bounds or hits one of your teammates.

3. Use the Right Technique

When you kick the ball, make sure you use your foot properly, with good follow-through.

The best way to make a good clearance is to use the laces of your foot. This will give you the most power and accuracy.

You should also make sure you follow through with your kick. This will help you to get the ball as far away from your goal as possible.

4. Practice Regularly

The more you practice, the better you’ll become at making clearances.

Find a wall or a goal and practice kicking the ball as hard as you can. Make sure you practice using both feet so you can make clearances from either side.

The more you practice, the more natural it will become to make good clearances in a game.

By following these tips, you can learn how to make good clearances in soccer. And who knows, you might even save a goal or two!

Watch and learn: How to make a clearance in soccer like a pro.

Here’s a great video tutorial that guides you through some neat tips and tricks on how to make a clearance as a defensive player – and even shows you which part of your foot you can use to get the most powerful result!

Common Clearance Mistakes

One common clearance mistake is to kick the ball so hard that it goes out of bounds. This is called a “hoofed clearance” and it’s not very effective!

Another common clearance mistake is to kick the ball so hard that it hits one of your own teammates. This is called a “hospital pass” and it’s not very popular with your teammates.

And finally, one clearance mistake that’s sure to make your coach laugh is to try to clear the ball with your head and end up missing the ball altogether. This is called a “headless clearance” and it’s not very graceful.

Here’s what you need to avoid the most! 

  • Hesitation. 
  • Not being aware of your surroundings.
  • Not practicing regularly. 
  • Not communicating with your teammates. 
  • Not taking risks. 
  • Being too predictable.

The Final Score 

A clearance in soccer is when you kick the ball as hard as you can away from your goal and hope for the best!

It’s a crucial defensive move that can be performed by any player, but, is often done by defenders and goalkeepers.

A good clearance can be a thing of beauty, sending the ball flying high into the air or out of bounds with a powerful kick. But it can also be a bit ugly, with players sometimes resorting to hoofing the ball away in desperation.

No matter how it’s done, a clearance is an important part of the game of soccer. It can be a simple skill to learn, but it takes practice and stamina to master. 

This article was written by

  • Mia Johnson, Fitness Expert & Soccer Coach

    Hello! I'm Mia, a high school Physical Education teacher in Orlando, Florida by day and a soccer blog contributor by night. My journey with soccer began just like any other enthusiastic player - on a local field, chasing after a ball and dreaming big. Soccer became my way to teach, inspire, and connect with others. In addition to my role in education, I've taken my passion for soccer a step further by earning a coaching qualification. This badge not only represents my commitment to the sport...