Principles of transition from training to attack – training analysis

This session will create opportunities for players to work on the principles of offensive transition. We will look to encourage them to initially look to break the lines and play towards players who have support, however, also encouraging them to recognize when that is not possible, and instead have them retain possession and stretch the terrain both horizontally and vertically.

This tactical analysis provide examples to coach attacking transition principles, giving examples of three practices and one analysis how these workouts should be conducted and what coaching points can be drawn from them. These practices are transferable to a wide range of tactical as it seeks to bring out the learning of the basics at this time.

Part 1

The first part of this session will seek to allow players to experience a high volume of turnovers and experiment with different approaches, whether through dribbling, immediate forward passing or using a third player to create opportunities to successfully play forward.

Quite simply, the goal of this game is for the possession team to work the ball through. It works well for rotations if there can be three sets of pairs with the middle two pairs playing against each other while the player at either end acts as the target/neutral players. After a certain number of sets or a fixed duration, the pairs can rotate giving a new match in the middle and different end players.

Practice should start with the ball played into the attacking team by one of the end players.

The attacking team must be prevented from using a third player to enable them to play, with the third player only coming live once the ball has been returned. Until then, it plays like a 2v2. This is when the two can look to combine to play past the defenders, or of course the player in possession can look to dribble past the player. Any pass to the player at the other end results in a goal.

Coaching: Offensive Transition Principles - Tactical Analysis Tactics

However, once a turnover is forced, the blue team in this example can now attack. If they are able to score within five seconds of taking possession, their goal is worth two, which encourages them to look to break the lines as soon as possible, while we also want to encourage our players to play passes at a fast pace and to play on a limited number. touch if possible. The blue team can play directly into the player on the other side, however, if the black team effectively counter-presses and prevents them from finding this option, they have the option of using the closest end player to make a 3v2. In such cases, these end players should be limited to touch to keep the situation realistic and the tempo intense.

This player can simply recycle possession, but also has the ability to break lines with a forward pass.

Coaching: Offensive Transition Principles - Tactical Analysis Tactics

Once the ball is successfully played to the opposite end, the blue team trades with the black team and becomes the attacking team.

Coaching: Offensive Transition Principles - Tactical Analysis Tactics

This practice is intense and continuous, so players need to work in shorter sets to ensure that match-level intensity is there.

Part 2

Move this to wider practice, and if possible this should be set up in an area of ​​the pitch where it provides the context for a midfield battle. We have a 5v3 with the ball starting in a 3v1 rondo in the middle, with four players on the outside. For large sets of players this can be increased with more players in the rondo, and with more players on the outside, however this example just provides a framework. There are four away goals behind the players at the end of the outer square.

3 on 1 is ideal because it forces the red team to move after playing a pass and increases the likelihood of a quick turnaround. Once the blue player in the middle has possession of the ball, he is responsible for quickly finding a pass to a teammate on the outside. The red team can move freely to counter-press, and the blue center player can also move freely but should be encouraged to stay in the center whenever possible.

Coaching: Offensive Transition Principles - Tactical Analysis Tactics

The blue team is responsible for finding 10 passes for a goal, however, if they are able to split the red team in defense, which represents an early line-breaking pass at the time of the offensive transition, it can immediately be rewarded with a goal.

Coaching: Offensive Transition Principles - Tactical Analysis Tactics

Once they have reached 10 passes or made that split pass, whichever comes first, they are allowed to finish in one of the small goals for an extra point. Rather than an outside player receiving and finishing in turn, the blue team should be encouraged to finish facing the front, which makes the game more realistic and encourages them to get their central player to finish.

Coaching: Offensive Transition Principles - Tactical Analysis Tactics

It represents a quick combination of offensive transition and player movement to find space and support forward passes, allowing us to keep playing forward right now.

Once again, we encourage our possession team in this moment of offensive transition to play with pace, without limited touches, and to understand the advantage of breaking a line at this time. When this line breaking pass is played we need to make sure the player now in possession is not isolated and there is support.

For example, in the following image, let’s say the player in possession has just received the ball in the middle of the field. There is immediate support close to him, and at least on one wing (although preferably on both wings), while the player on the other side who has just played the pass should look to cross his line and offer a pass option once again. , continually moving the opposing defense.

Coaching: Offensive Transition Principles - Tactical Analysis Tactics

If the red team is able to force an interception by counter-pressing, they are able to score themselves in one of the mini-goals. If they force the turnover and score within six seconds, that goal can be worth double.

Coaching: Offensive Transition Principles - Tactical Analysis Tactics

However, the blue team should also be encouraged to counter-press and players can step in from outside to put pressure on the ball once it has been knocked down.

Coaching: Offensive Transition Principles - Tactical Analysis Tactics

We can impress on them the importance of immediate transition once again after winning the ball again, with players moving quickly back out if they regain possession to provide space and passing options .

Coaching: Offensive Transition Principles - Tactical Analysis Tactics

Part 3

Finally, putting this even more into a game situation, a 7+GK against 7+GK is an effective way to bring out our collective goals for this session. Playing outfielders in a setting that encourages a man-to-man press will increase the likelihood of turnovers and therefore produce more moments for us to work on the offensive transition in this game situation.

Either team can start, with both working on the offensive transition once they gain possession, but in the example below, the red team has possession.

Coaching: Offensive Transition Principles - Tactical Analysis Tactics

Naturally, the red team is looking to break through and score against the opposing keeper. However, in a rotation, we are looking for the blue team to put into practice today’s learning and forge a goalscoring opportunity, or retain possession at the moment if that is not possible.

If there is the possibility of playing forward first, that is what we want them to prioritize. To do this, goals scored within eight seconds of a turnover can be worth double.

Coaching: Offensive Transition Principles - Tactical Analysis Tactics

If that first option isn’t available, they can recycle possession, however, we still want to challenge them to practice the specific learning from Part 2 of this session. Can the goalkeeper of the team in transition be brave, step forward and provide that deeper option, for example, before looking to break the lines, or if the ball is won further forward, the number six of the blue team can also do it.

Coaching: Offensive Transition Principles - Tactical Analysis Tactics


This set of practices simply suggests a few avenues to explore in order to convey the principles of offensive transition to our players, first in more isolated practices, or at the very least on a smaller scale, before putting them in a game situation. and allow them to apply them over a large area.

Players should be challenged to react quickly to gain possession, playing fast passing sequences with minimal touches, while looking to provide width and height at this point in play. They should look to play forward first if possible, and ensure that this pass is supported by nearby players so the receiver is not isolated, but also if not, can they play a side or back pass, and can this open up a passing line in which they can also play forward. If not, can they be mature enough to show composure right now and retain possession.