Three Team Transition

By Sean Reed – 


This session focuses on the transition and focusing on the next phase. Looking to exploit and limit opportunities depending on the transition phase.

Session 1


Diagram 1

Set Up

  • Working with 12 + players
  • Players are split into 3 teams
  • Working with a circle (other areas can be used)
  • Size of the area can be changed depending on challenging the players
  • 1 team starts with the ball in the middle
  • 2 teams start on the outside and are positioned alternately. See diagram 1
  • The team in the middle are looking to play passes between them, once every player as played at least one pass the ball can be played to the outside
  • Going in order team in yellow bibs play to the team in black bibs, who play to the team in red bibs
  • Once a pass has been made to the outside, that team then travel into the middle and the team in the middle replace them on the outside


  • The team in the middle remain in the middle for a set period of time (i.e. 1min)
  • The coach can stipulate a specific type of combination for example play a 1-2 or play and overlap with a player from another team
  • Restrict number of touches
  • Change the size of area

Coaching Points

  • Make the pitch big
  • Timing of movements and forward runs
  • Rotation and switching to create passing opportunities
  • Movement and angels of support
  • Next movement / decision to be made with and without the ball
  • Tempo of passing
  • Opportunities to combine and link
  • Acceleration in and out of the area

Session 2


Diagram 2

Set Up

  • Similar set up as within the previous session
  • For this session 2x teams are in the middle
  • 1 team positioned on the outside
  • 1 team in the middle starts with the ball (goal is scored is a specific number of consecutive passes are made (i.e. 4 or 6)
  • If the team defending wins the ball, they are then looking to score by making passes.
  • The team that has just lost possession must then sprint to the outside area and the team on the outside must then sprint into the area to try and win possession


  • The team that has lost the ball as the opportunity to win the ball back before the opposition scores. If they can do so, the other team must then leave the area
  • Restrict the number of touches
  • Reduce the size of area

Coaching Points

  • Secure 1st pass
  • Tempo of passing
  • Angles and movement to support the ball
  • In possession make the pitch big
  • 1st touch to open out
  • On turn over – either acceleration out the area or immediate pressure on the ball
  • Focus on the next phase
  • Defend in numbers, deny and control space, limit passing options

By Sean Reed

Former First Team Coach of Championship side Fulham FC. Sean is a UEFA A Coach with a Masters in Sport Coaching. He has over 15 years of experience working in professional football from Academy through to First team in the Premiership and Championship.

Web –
Twitter – @SeanJReed

About the Author Tom Mura

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