Changing of the guard


This is a fast game with lots of coaching points to help your players get back to full fitness ready for the start of the new season.

Why use it

Reacting to quick transitions is key to this session, as is holding onto the ball under pressure. This includes using clever play to shield the ball and get passes away.

Set up

Set up an area of 20×10 yards. We’ve used 11 players in the session. You need balls, bibs and cones.

Changing of the guard

How to play

Split your players into three teams: two teams of four and one team of three. One team of four is on the two sides outside the square, and one team of four is in the middle. The team of three has one player in the middle and one at either end. The team of four outside the square cannot pass to each other on the same side and they team up with the team of three. If the team of four in the middle intercept the ball, they switch places with the team on the outside.


This activity is all very match relevant: pressing in transition including speed of press; pressing when team has a numerical balance; and quick adjusting of mentality from being in possession to transition to defending. It also helps to create mental images of the next pass or position.

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