Improving Transition Instincts

Discussion in 'Coach' started by Rob55, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. Rob55

    Rob55 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    Any good suggestions how to best develop instincts into players to learn to move forward and backwards with possession of ball? Particularly in defenders, whom like hang out with goalies and frequently don't hurry back timely when opposition moves ball through midfield into their attacking 1/3? Been coaching both U12 and U14, and it seems to be an extrememly slow learning curve in these instincts over the years. As a coach it requires constant and persistant coaching instruction in every transitional situations (both directions). I've see younger (albiet higher skill level) teams move well up and down field with the ball, so I was wondering if there is any different drills, SSG's or approach I could take to get these children up to speed quicker in this area? I'd estimate that over the last 2 years, 90% of my sideline coaching instructions during competitive games, scrimmage games or SSG's involve getting players without the ball (defenders/midfielders primarily) to stop standing/watching the game and move forward into support positions behind offense.


  2. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator Staff Member

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    Arsenal FC
    Re: drills/instruction to improve transitional instincts in young players

    1v1,2v2,3v3,4v4 in an area that is disproportionately longer than it is wide (not by a ridiculous margin though).

    In a SSG format, you are very much responsible for everything that goes on. In bigger scrimmages, you can "hide" much more easily.

    An adaptation you can make to a SSG or scrimmage is that if the team in possession gets too disconnected, they lose possession of the ball.
  3. Rob55

    Rob55 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    Re: drills/instruction to improve transitional instincts in young players

    That last point is a good idea. As I ref. the SSG, I can blow whistle and make it a change of possession penalty if I catch defenders sleeping or forwards sandbagging. Although I'd say we play a few SSG's nearly every practice and nearly ever SSG, I tell the defenders to move up with the ball. You would think all of the coaching comments would have sunk in by now. They move up when I tell them to, very rarely on their own. Maybe the competitive game penalty will fix it. I guess I could yank them out of real games if I catch them not moving as well. Maybe that will wake them up.
  4. rca2

    rca2 Member

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    Nov 25, 2005
    Re: drills/instruction to improve transitional instincts in young players

    I haven't actually run this, but my idea to work on team tactics for transitional play is to have several balls available and all restarts are me serving a ball to a player. I could give either team possession, so its not predictable. The idea is that the player receiving the ball from me represents the turnover.

    I can then control the situation by who I throw (or kick) the ball to. I can also set up some nice "freeze" situations to make coaching points with. The players don't know who I will give the ball to, so they have to pay attention. I don't think this will work as well with 3v3 because the situations are so simple. You need enough players so that they are two distinct lines. So I had in mind a full side scrimmage, but it could work with 5 or 6 a side.

    Keep in mind that you don't want to throw to somebody that is not staying in supporting distance. You don't want to reward the type of play you are trying to correct.


  5. GKbenji

    GKbenji Member

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    Fort Collins CO
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    Colorado Rapids
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    United States
    Re: drills/instruction to improve transitional instincts in young players

    Use a small-sided game as others have said, but use one or both of these elements:

    1. Full size or very large goals relative to the size of the field (e.g. 40x25 yards with full-size or 21'x6.5' goals; 30x20 yards with 8'x16' goals)--with or without keepers. The relative ease of scoring will both encourage quick attacking and punish slow or lazy transition to defending. In fact, just got back from a tournament with my U15G featuring the first size field/goals (5v5, 4 field players with keeper) and it really magnified the transition aspects.

    2. Mark a center line on the field. All players on the attacking team must be in the attacking half when a goal is scored or it doesn't count; if any defenders are not in the defending half when scored against, the goal counts double. I call this the "All Up, All Back Game" (though it's not original to me). Teams must move as a unit and lollygaggers hurt their team.
  6. cleansheetbsc

    cleansheetbsc Member+

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    Albany, NY
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    --other--
    Re: drills/instruction to improve transitional instincts in young players

    [​IMG]

    Skip: You guys. You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!
    Larry: Lollygaggers!
    Skip: Lollygaggers.

    I've done this in the past with U-10's. Didn't use it enough, but when it is fresh in their minds, it was pretty effective.
  7. Twenty26Six

    Twenty26Six Feeling Sheepish...

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    Liverpool FC
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    United States
    Re: drills/instruction to improve transitional instincts in young players

    I feel like it works best with 3 distinct lines, but you are onto something. This activity works real well.

    I would play 8v8 or 9v9 and focus on midfield transition.
  8. Twenty26Six

    Twenty26Six Feeling Sheepish...

    Joined:
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    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Country:
    United States
    Re: drills/instruction to improve transitional instincts in young players

    You made your U10s watch Bull Durham? Somehow, I'm not sure that's morally conscionable. :D
  9. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Re: drills/instruction to improve transitional instincts in young players

    I don't know why I forgot to mention this before, but a great training game.

    Play 2v2 in 10x20 grid, with goals at both ends. Other pairs waiting behind the goals/lines with a ball and they go as soon as a shot is made or missed.

    Main rule is "shooter stays". So Team A attacks Team B, team A shoots and scores. Two new Team B players go on attack now and the shooter from Team A becomes a lone defender, as the non-shooter has to "sit".

    So, it's constantly a 2v1 and all players need to be on their toes to take advantage (or disrupt the advantage) during the transition. Attackers are constantly becoming defenders and vice versa.

    To make it a bit more realistic, add another cone about ten yards beyond each goal. The shooter must now follow her shot and run around the far cone creating a momentary 2v1. So for the attacking team, the advantage is momentary (just like in a real game).

    This game is fantastic cardio. You can play with cone goals or real goals with or without keepers.

    To me, transition is mostly a mental state. It's a very brief period mostly characterized by getting back on defense and getting organized or moving into the attack and flowing forward.
  10. cleansheetbsc

    cleansheetbsc Member+

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    Albany, NY
    Club:
    --other--
    Re: drills/instruction to improve transitional instincts in young players

    Susan Sarandon's daughter is married to Kyle Martino, so its all soccer related.
  11. tonythetard

    tonythetard Member

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    Kansas City Wizards
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    First off let me apologize for spelling/ grammer or just plain old mis-keying as I'm typing this all in from my phone. Now, there's been a few good comments above, but I like 3s. I like to split things into thirds so, with that in mind...

    @GKbenji: regarding your SSG splitting the field in half- I like to split it into thirds and anyone in the defensive third (from the defending team) adds to the point scored. Lots of ways to use the thirds to add or even subtract from a team's score that way. They quickly learn to move as a group.

    @elessar78: I split the group into three even teams. When team 1 scores vs team 2, team three enters and starts defending a ball I pass in to team 1. Team 2 has to shag the ball and prepare to enter the game as defense. I hope it helps them think about positioning, because they all watch the game closely from the sidelines.

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