Crucial game-changing triggers

Transitions are a big part of the youth game. A ‘switched on’ team that responds quickly to a change in possession will benefit enormously by taking their opponents by surprise. On many occasions I have witnessed my players winning the ball but being so rushed that without thinking they send the ball up the pitch and straight back into the possession of their opponents.

As teams get older the moments of transition become more important – players are more able to recognize that quick play can lead to getting behind their opponents.

At the very young ages transition will be happening all the time as they are concentrating on trying to kick the ball forwards and it will change hands many times. With the older ages you wont see the ball changing quite so often – but it is vital when it does that players make the most of it.

Here are my three favourite ways to train for transitions in a match:

3v2 transitions gives your players a good test of their attacking and defending skills. The attackers have the edge and must make the most of winning the ball, but the defenders must make sure they block shots in the game where the idea is to knock the ball off the cone.

There are lots of changes of overload situations in Transitions your number’s up so reaction is key to success. This is a great game with two different ways to score and players moving to another game leaving spaces for teams to attack.

My final session is called Success in transitions because that is what we are aiming for. It is a brilliant overload game that never allows players to relax. Because it is performed in a playing area that most aren’t accustomed to, they should be constantly aware of transition situations developing around them.

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