Transition is a moment of the game which requires practice. In this session you’ll see a small sided game which encourages a high level of repetition of quick attack, forward runs, forward passing and recovering runs.
The game is designed to create overloads in different areas of the pitch which creates a high number of attacking opportunities for the team in possession and challenges the defending team to recover and often defend outnumbered. UEFA A licensed coach, Dave Wright will talk you through the set up of the session and what he’s seeing as the practice goes on.
About the Video
In the video below, Dave Wright demonstrates the practice with a group of U12 grassroots players of mixed ability. Look out for Dave’s points around why he sacrifices realism (of the game) to increase repetition (of quick attack) and some of the strategies he uses to help players understand the game before unlocking the game a step at a time.
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The structure of this practice lends itself to a number of outcomes, including:
- Quick, counter-attack
- Forward passing & forward running
- Defending outnumbered
- Attacking with overloads
- Recovery runs
- Emergency defending
Key elements to observe and encourage are:
- Fast, forward passing
- Timing of runs
- Direct play
- Desire to defend
No. of Players: 10 – 20
Practice Type: Small sided game
Pitch Size: 45 x 25
Timing: 20 – 30 mins
Age Group: 10+
Interpreting the Diagrams
The key below outlines what the images mean on the diagrams.
If you have questions about the practices, contact the PDP Team or share your views on the Player Development Project Slack Community.
Key For Diagrams
This practices is designed to encourage high repetition of forward runs, forward passing and quick attack. As a result, there is also an opportunity to challenge defenders who will often be outnumbered, have to make recovery runs or be tasked with emergency defending.
Set up a narrow small sided game divided into thirds with two goals. Goalkeepers are critical to this practice functioning and should have a good supply of footballs in their goals to play quickly. The key constraint is that midfield players cannot recover into the final third to defend. This creates attacking overloads in the final third for the team in possession, and if the defenders or GK win the ball they can exploit midfield overloads in the central third by attacking at speed. You can adapt to allow a defender to recover and support as required.
Observations & Interventions
What you might see
- Slow play or players passing sideways
- Players fatiguing
Actions you might take
- Ensure a narrow pitch to reduce opportunities to play sideways or safely
- Manage the length of the pitch
- Reward teams for goals in less than a certain length of time (e.g. 8 seconds)
Is the session too hard?
- Make the space longer (more physically demanding)
- Allow a defender to recover in support
- Restrict goal scoring to one touch finish
Adaptations: Is the session too easy?
- Adjust the space to manage fatigue
- Adjust rules around which players are locked/unlocked
Would you like to learn more about planning sessions?
You might be interested in our foundations of session design course created by UEFA A Licensed Coaches, Dave Wright and Dan Wright. They will teach you everything you need to know about designing world-class sessions that your players will love.Learn More