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A girl runs with the ball while under pressure from an opponent on her left, during a match on a 3G pitch.

Transition session: transition to attack

Ryan Davies, FA physical education and coach development officer, shares a session that helps players transition between attack and defence.

This session will help players: 

  • transition between attack and defence quickly and effectively 
  • improve communication skills 
  • develop both finishing and emergency defending. 

If you like this idea, download the session plan and give it a go. And don't forget to share your experience on the England Football Community. We'd love to know how you got on.

Coaching tips      

Have your team think about transitioning between attack and defence. As soon as the play is switched, the new defending team should run back quickly to help defend the goal.  

Encourage players to scan the pitch and create space when in possession to help them get the ball to the line or score. 

Try changing the size of the pitch for different returns. A smaller and more narrow pitch will encourage shorter, more intricate passing. A longer and wider pitch will encourage longer passes and bigger touches while moving with the ball. 

Provide a different challenge when appropriate by having overloads and underloads. This could be a 4v3 or a 5v4 for example.  

And if you feel it's right to progress the session, use the STEP framework (Youth Sports Trust, 2002) to help keep things fun, engaging and appropriate.