Switching Play: Transitions Across Pitch

SoccerSpecific

Exploiting space on the opposite side of the pitch is a highly effective method of breaking down the opponent; overloads can be created if the transition occurs quickly before the opponent can organize their defensive structure (2v1 / 1v1 / 3v2 etc).

Maintaining possession on one side of the pitch will draw the opponent nearer to that side of the pitch; this then creates the opportunity to quickly transition across the pitch.

The following activities emphasize drawing the opponent to one side of the pitch and then transitioning quickly through central areas to the opposite side of the pitch.

1.

Setup:

Three Groups of 4 plus 1 ‘FREE’ player (Yellow). Two grids with a central free zone separating them.

Diagram A

Instructions:

POSSESSION WITH TRANSITION THROUGH CENTRAL AREAS:

Four players maintain possession (4v2) against 2 opponents; the central ‘FREE’ player can take part in the play to create a 5v2 but must remain in the central free area. Players are encouraged to complete minimum 5 passes before transitioning the ball through the central free zone to the other grid; the other two defenders (red) now enter that grid to create a new 4v2.

On any error – that team becomes the defensive team.

Play is continuous. 4x2min.

Coaching Points:

  • Quick ball circulation and movements in congested playing area.
  • Central ‘FREE’ player must look to find pass channels to receive the ball. FREE player encouraged to receive in half-turned position.
  • Think ‘transition’ – switch ball to opposite grid

2.

Setup:

Two Groups of 9 plus 1 ‘FREE’ player (Yellow). Two grids with a central free zone separating them.
FREE Player must remain in central zone.

Diagram B

Instructions:

POSSESSION WITH TRANSITION THROUGH CENTRAL AREAS:

Play starts with a pass from the Coach each time. 8v8 possession on one half of the playing area; Possession team can score by – (1) completing 10 passes (2) Completing 5 passes before passing through the Central FREE player (Yellow) – 5 consecutive passes on the opposite side = 2 goals.

Emphasis is on drawing opponent to one side before transitioning quickly across the pitch.

Play is continuous. 2x6min.

Coaching Points:

  • Quick ball circulation and movements in congested playing area
  • Central ‘FREE’ player must look to find pass channels to receive the ball
  • FREE player encouraged to receive in half-turned position
  • Think ‘transition’ – switch ball to opposite grid

3.

Setup:

Two Groups of 9 plus 1 ‘FREE’ player (Yellow). Two grids with a central free zone separating them. Mini-goals placed as shown. FREE Player must remain in central zone.

Diagram C

Instructions:

POSSESSION WITH TRANSITION THROUGH CENTRAL AREAS:

Play starts with a pass from the Coach (C) each time. 8v8 possession on one half of the playing area; Possession team can score by – (1) completing 10 passes and scoring in mini-goal on SAME side of pitch (2) Completing 5 passes before passing through the Central FREE player (Yellow) – and immediately attacking the mini-goal.

Emphasis is on drawing opponent to one side before transitioning quickly across the pitch.

Play is continuous. 2x4min.

Coaching Points:

  • Quick ball circulation and movements in congested playing area
  • Central ‘FREE’ player must look to find pass channels to receive the ball
  • FREE player encouraged to receive in half-turned position
  • Think ‘transition’ – switch ball to opposite grid