Quick Transition Directional Play

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Objective: Developing Quick Continuous Attacking Play

Rules: End to end play. Players are breaking one way passing to an outside player and switching positions, inside player out, outside player in then attack the other side of the zone.

directional play target game

Coaching Points:

  1. Technical ability on the ball in 1 v 1 situations
  2. Quick Transition in attack - As the transition between players happens for example (3) changes with (5), the numbers team must get the ball to (4) as quickly as possible.
  3. Observe the movement of (1), (2) and (6) in terms of their support positions as the directional change takes place moving in anticipation.
  4. Observe also, as the change occurs, the positions of the defending team; has the decision been made quickly enough who presses the ball. Are the other defensive players supporting and covering and especially tracking runners off the ball.
  5. This session improves quick decision making, tight control and thinking in advance due to the switch in direction of the play. You can also work on the defending players.

Here (3) passes to (5) and (3) leaves the area. As the ball is traveling to (5), (1), (2) and (6) must get into a position to help (5) as early as possible so in theory. Their movement is OFF THE BALL and away from their markers.

Of course the defenders will move to compensate but for the sake of what I am trying to show it is easier to get the point across by showing the movements of the attacking team only.

  1. The attacking players each being free to help (5) by being open for a pass.
  2. (5) May elect to run with the ball but at least three are three options available for a pass if needed. (5) May even elect to play a long pass straight to (4) on the other side of the field if the pressure from the closest defender is not fast enough.
  3. You could even then work on defending in this game though focus on defending totally in the session or attacking totally in the session it is better not to try to do both as it can be confusing for the players.


  1. If a player beats an opponent in a 1 v 1 situation the team gets an extra point or goal each time.
  2. Play one and two touch; reward each successful one touch pass with a goal to encourage the players to play quickly.

Competitive: Ensure you keep the score and have a finishing score to achieve as this keeps the players focused and motivated to win.

Download a printable pdf of this session and more target games in the Soccer Awareness Training Center