How to Clear the Ball in American Football

How to Clear the Ball in American Football
How to Clear the Ball in American Football

In American and Canadian football, relief is a phase of play in which the ball must be kicked far into the opposing team's field, in the hope of giving a more advantageous receiving position when possession changes sides.. Therefore, in order to achieve a successful clearance, the ball must be sent as far as possible on the field, while respecting the limits. In Australian football, on the other hand, relief is a precise strike, usually to a player of the same team. Whether you play US, Canadian or Australian football, the clearance techniques are very similar.


Part 1 of 2: clearing a soccer ball

Step 1. Hold the ball in front of you, with the laces facing up

Catch it with your dominant hand as if you are about to shake someone's hand, holding it firmly between your thumb and fingers. Extend your dominant arm as far in front of you as possible, while holding the ball horizontally, with the laces up, directing the ball forward.

Tilt the nose of the balloon in the opposite direction of your dominant arm (if you are right-handed, point it slightly to the left)

Step 2. Take two steps forward

Stop in a controlled posture, with your feet 30cm apart and one foot 10cm in front of the other. It doesn't matter which foot you put in front. Once your feet are positioned, you will need to take two steps forward, the first with the kicking foot and the second with the other foot, in order to gain momentum while keeping your kicking foot behind the other.

  • Your steps should be calm and controlled. You should not walk or run towards the ball, but rather approach quickly.
  • Take two steps of normal size. Taking too small or too large steps will make clearing the ball more difficult.

Step 3. Hit the ball right after you drop it

The ball should be dropped parallel to the ground, so that you can send it in the right direction. Send your foot forward and release the ball at the same time, so you hit it as late as possible, almost when the ball is no longer touching your fingers. Kick upwards, to touch the ball as it sits static in the air, instead of hitting it to the side, as many tend to do.

  • Your toes should point forward and you should kick the ball with the top of your kicking foot.
  • Move your dominant hand far to the side and lift the other hand up in the air to help you with the movement and gain momentum.
  • Contact should be at your knee.

Step 4. Follow the movement

Finish the hitting motion, lifting your leg as high as possible to optimize the height and speed of the ball. When the strike is finished, put your foot back on the ground. Next, watch the ball fly across the field.

Part 2 of 2: Clear the ball in a match

Step 1. Stand 15 meters behind the line of scrimmage

Step 2. Shout “hike” when you are ready for the play phase

This will alert the center that you are ready to be sent the ball to you.

Step 3. Catch the ball

If you want to make a clearance, you have to hit the ball before it hits the ground. If it escapes you or you cannot fully touch it, you will not be able to make the release.

Step 4. Prepare to clear the ball

Once you have caught the ball, be ready to take two steps forward and send it in front using the top part of your dominant foot.


  • Practice and make sure that you are working out leg strength with weights, biking, running, and other activities. This will help you increase your leg strength.
  • Also, be sure to move the ball slightly to the left before hitting, so you don't touch it with your ankle.

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