To clear the ball up the field successfully in lacrosse, players need to have a combination of precision passing, strong catching and blazing speed.
It also requires practice.
Over-the-shoulder passing and catching can allow the clearing team to continue moving upfield without having to turn around and stop its momentum in order to make a catch.
As a passer, you should look to target an open player advancing away from the center of the field. Make sure to review where defenders are located to avoid turning the ball over with a poor pass. Step toward your target and follow through so that your stick and body are moving toward the intended player. Since your teammate is moving upfield, you need to lead them with your pass.
When you are moving up the field to make the catch, you want to be aware of defenders who might be near you to avoid the pass being picked off. Have your stick in front of your body on the side closest to the passer. Keep your arms out in front of you and be ready to adjust based on where the pass is thrown.
A great drill to practice over-the-shoulder catching is to have your goalie or a defender clear the ball to players breaking away from the goal area. You can use cones to guide them up the field. The cones help show where players should be in relation to the goal and where to make the pass or catch.
You can also practice this skill against a wall or with a rebounder by making the pass and then turning to catch it over the shoulder.
Remember to continue to work on the mechanics of passing so you can get the ball to your teammates in stride when moving the ball up the field.