This practice is designed to support player understanding of how to organise defensively in order to quickly attack in transition.

About the Video

In the video below, Dave will talk you through the structure of the practice, various outcomes and how you can adapt it for your players.

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Practice Overview

Topic: Attacking Transition

No. of Players: 6 – 14

Goalkeepers: Yes

Practice Type: Small Sided Game

Offsides: N/A

Timing: 15 mins

Age Group: U8+

Pitch Size: 40 x 25

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 PDP Coaching Community.

Key For Diagrams
soccer training diagram


Set up a long narrow pitch ideally in the centre of the field to attack one big goal. Use flat rubber discs to mark a line which reds must defend behind (except one player). Two mini goals and one GK are in play. To ensure forward passes and forward runs, keep the pitch narrow. Adjust based on number of players.
An example of the yellow team successfully playing around the red team who are set up in a deep block with 4 defenders behind the line of engagement. Only one red defender can stay above the line, yellows are free to go anywhere.
An example of the reds successfully defending deep in a block, intercepting the ball and breaking on the counter-attack. We are look for forward supporting runs and confident running with the ball in this moment.
An example of the red attacker driving into space and shooting with forward runners in support and yellows trying to recover.
An example of reds successfully counter-attacking and scoring with a one touch finish from a cross. This could be rewarded with double goals to encourage forward runs.


To support player understanding of how to organise defensively in order to quickly attack in transition.


Split players in to two teams. This practice can involve one or two GKs. In the image you’ll see the set up with one GK and two mini goals. Reds are constrained to only have one defender in front of halfway, they are looking to sit in a deep block and not press. Yellows can go anywhere they like and are aiming to play through, around or over the block to score in the mini goals. A long, narrow pitch is advisable to allow players space to run in to.

Observations & Interventions

What you might see

  • You may see yellow players replicating reds and staying quite deep in possession.
  • You may see a lack of forward supporting runs.

Actions you might take

  • Encourage them to be brave and attack
  • Reward reds with two points if they have four players over the line when scoring, or double points for a one touch finish.


Is the session too easy?

  • Make the space smaller
  • Add an extra defender
  • Give reds a time limit to score

Is the session too hard?

  • Make the space bigger
  • Restrict to only one defender can recover
  • Give yellows a time limit to score

Would you like to know 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. PDP Members get 40% off all courses.

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