Possession and transition

  • Organisation

    Possession in soccer comes in two varieties.

    The first variety is for a team to keep the ball while gaining territory in an effort to create a scoring opportunity.

    The second variety can be divided into two categories both of which should lead to the variety to gain territory in an effort to create a scoring opportunity.

    These two categories include passing the ball for the sole purpose of relieving pressure and passing the ball because a forward option is deemed to risky and the player receiving this pass will have a better chance to play a forward ball.

    With this in mind, coaches must avoid having their team possess the ball for the sole purpose of possessing the ball. The best way a coach can avoid possession for the sake of possession is to put players in activities that have a direction to attack and a direction to defend.

    Reasons for directional possession include:

    ¢ More like the game

    ¢ Realistic Shape

    ¢ Realistic Defending

    ¢ Players must make decisions in regard to the variety of possession oriented passes.

    ¢ Presents more realistic opportunities to effect players through coaching moments.


    Create a grid the same size as the penalty box (18yd. x 44yd.) and put a 2 yd. gate close to one of the corners.

    (Divide your team into three teams of 6 players (or five, if you only have 15 total).

    One team enters the grid, while another is located next to the gate.

    The third team is located on the same side of the gate, but close to the opposite corner (you may need to build a small grid for them to stay in to prevent them from cheating out).

  • Process

    The coach plays a ball into the grid and the team in the grid attempts to keep possession.

    They can only use one touch for the first 10 seconds and the team near the gate may send one player in the grid to defend.

    At the end of 10 seconds, the team is allowed to play two-touch and the defending team may send one more defender into the grid for a total of two defenders.

    After 10 more seconds (20 seconds total), the team may play unlimited touch and look to get 5 passes while the defending team sends its remaining players into the grid.

    If the team in the grid completes five passes in the third sequence, they get a point and transition out of the grid to the opposite corner of the gate.

    The team that was just defending becomes the team attempting to keep possession in the grid.

    The third team (that was resting in the corner) transitions to the gate to send one player in to defend and start the sequence again.

    Players may only enter the grid through the gate. The time it takes for the third team to transition from the corner to the gate allows the team inside the grid a little time to organize for the one touch possession.

    If, at any point, the ball leaves the grid or the defender knocks it out of the grid, the transition happens right away.

Training Set:

Main point/Emphasis


U6 - U13 [Under 12]

U14 - U19 [Under 15]


20 min

Number of Players:

1 - 5 players [3 players, 4 players, 5 players]

> 10 players [13 or more playersr]

Form of Training:

Group training

Skill Level:


Author: Paul Fraser

Similar exercises - Training set:

Main point/Emphasis

Box Passing Variation III
Variable Passing with Changing Positions II
Triangle Passing with One-Twos Variation I

Similar exercises - Duration:

20 Mins

Simple Passing/Control II
finishing drills
Passing with Dribbling Variation IV

Similar exercises - Author:

Paul Fraser

combinations in the final 1/3rd