Soccer Transition Drill

3 Team Rotation To Goal

In this fast and exciting transition game, teams take turns attacking and defending a large goal. This activity has all the elements of a regular soccer game and can be used for players of all abilities aged 9-18.

Related: Transition In Soccer – Everything You Need To Know

3 Team Rotation To Goal | Soccer Transition Drill

AGE: 9+Years
TOPIC: Transition, Attacking, and Defensive Play
DURATION: 20 Minutes

Set Up The Drill

Mark off a 30x40yard grid with small cones. Set up a full-size goal at one end of the grid.  Select one player to be the goalkeeper and split the remaining players up into three teams of three. For the purpose of this description, the three teams will be red, blue, and green. Set the green team up as the ‘resting team’ outside of the grid, the blue team as the ‘attacking team’ facing the goal, and the red team as the ‘defending team’ in front of the big goal, (see drill image above). Have a supply of balls ready to help facilitate quick restarts.


The game begins with the blue team attacking the goal and trying to score. The red team defend the goal and attempt to win the ball back. If they successfully win the ball back they must try to make a successful pass to one of the players on the ‘resting’ green team. If they succeed, the green team becomes the attacking team, the blue team becomes the defensive team, and the read team becomes the resting team.

If the attacking team manages to score a goal they get a new ball from the coach and attack again, starting from the back end of the grid. Play corners and throw-ins as you would in a regular game. For more advanced & older players play offside too. The team that scores the most goals after a designated time wins.


You can play this game with almost any number of players. After choosing one goalkeeper, if the total number of players left over is not divisible by three, then consider adding neutral players that are either always attacking or defending the big goal.

Coaching Points

Let players know that they should be ready to transition quickly in both offense and defense.

When Attacking:

When attacking, players should…

  • look to combine quickly to try and get the ball behind the defense and create scoring opportunities.
  • provide width and options in attack on both sides of the field.
  • remember that the quicker you attack the harder it is for the defensive team to get organized.

When Defending:

When defending, players should…

  • find their defensive shape as quickly as possible and get compact and goal-side of the ball.
  • communicate their defensive roles with your teammates and provide balance, cover, and support.
  • pressure the ball when high-up in the field to increase their chances of making a pass to the resting team.