Aron Bassof is the head women’s soccer coach at the
University of the Cumberlands. He has attained the
USSF B License and the NSCAA Permier Diploma.
The following is his writing:
I like to do this practice after several training sessions of working on
our attacking and defending. To me this is the next step in being
successful after you have established your style of attacking and
defending is transition in attacking and defending. I believe first and
foremost that players must have idea of how you want them to attack and
defend in an 11v11 game. This transition exercise allows you to choose
the point of emphasis whether it be attacking or defending and whether
it be backs and midfielders or forwards and midfielders
This would be the 3rd exercise in my progression. I would start with a
basic warm up that gets their mind thinking about transition. I like to
do the one where players are facing each other and one has the ball.
They are about 2 yards apart. The player with the ball starts dribbling
at the player without. The player with the ball is just trying to make
the defender work not trying to beat them. The player without the ball
just tries to jockey that player and keep them in front. On coach’s
command the player with the ball leaves their ball and the player
without begins dribbling at that player in the same direction while the
player that previously had the ball jockeys and keep player in front.
Keep switching roles. It is a demanding exercise and you can use rests
to make observations.
The next exercise I do is setting goals 20 yards apart. Divide team in
half and put each team into different colored practice vests. One team
by one goal then other team by the other with keepers in each goal. 1st
player in line passes ball down to opposite side to player in line.
Player comes out with the ball and goes 1v1 against player who passed
the ball. Whichever player shoots the ball and whether the ball goes in,
the keeper saves it or it misses the goal, that player is now defending
and the next player in line by the goal that was shot on comes on with
the ball and goes 1v1. I usually progress to 2v2. You can use smaller
goals instead of larger goals. I just use larger goals because it is fun
and gets the players thinking about transitioning. I want them mentally
to be thinking about this. It also establishes 1st and 2nd defender and
This is the 3rd exercise in the progression. Divide teams into 3 groups
of 6 and place each team in different colored vests. If you have smaller
numbers that is fine but this exercises works better in these numbers
because they will get the 11v11 concept better. Have two grids that are
40X40 with a middle grid of 15X40. Goals are at each end of the grid
with keepers in it. You can shorten the girds if you have smaller
numbers but this is the one I use with 6V6V6. Place a team in each grid.
The team in the middle grid starts with a ball and attacks one goal
while the one team is defending. If the defending team wins the ball
they get the ball and immediately attack the other goal. The middle zone
is the buffer zone. No defending is allowed there. So if the team that
won the ball gets the ball in there then they can reorganize before
going forward to attack the other 6 defenders waiting in the next zone.
If attacking team shoots the ball or loses possession they can
immediately defend and try to win ball back. If they are successful they
keep going to goal they were attacking. It is only once the other team
get the ball in the buffer zone that they can no longer defend that team
and stay back in that area and wait to defend again. Progression would
be taking the buffer zone away and just using a midfield line as a
restriction line. Defending teams cannot defend across the midfield line
they must defend in their own halves.