Small Sided Soccer Drill

Team Transition And Possession | Small Sided Game

This small-sided game is great for use in training sessions focusing on possession, transitioning, and passing. Players will compete in two teams and must quickly transition from attacking to defending and vice versa throughout the drill. This activity can also be used to coach players about pressing the ball.

Related: Transition In Soccer – Everything You Need To Know

Team Transition And Possession

AGE: 9+ Years
TOPIC: Transition, Passing, and Possession
DURATION: 20 Minutes

Set Up The Drill

Mark off a 20x30yard grid with small cones. Use more cones to split the field in half so there are two sides to the grid, with each side being 20×15 yards (see diagram above).  Split the players up into two equal teams and put them in pinnies. For the purpose of this description, the two teams will be red and blue. Have a supply of balls ready to help facilitate quick restarts.


Place one team on each side of the grid. The blue team starts with the ball and scores a point for making 5 passes in a row in their half of the grid. The red team sends 3 defenders over to try and stop them and win the ball back. (6v3). If the red team wins the ball they pass the ball to their side of the grid and transition back to that side. In turn, the blue team sends 3 defenders over to try and win the ball back. It is now 6v3 on the other side. 

Play is continuous. If a team scores a point with 5 consecutive passes they continue to keep possession to see if they can score again. If the ball goes out of bounds, then a kick-in is awarded to the non-offending team.


You can play this game with almost any number of players. For example with 8 players, you would have two teams of 4 with two defending players transitioning to win the ball back each time, or with 16 players you would have two teams of 8 with 4 or 5 defending players transitioning to the other side of the grid to win the ball back.

Coaching Points

Be ready to transition quickly in both offense and defense when;

  • your team loses the ball you should send 3 players over to the opposite side of the grid immediately to try and win it back (the quicker players do this the easier it is to win the ball back). 
  • your team wins the ball they should transition back to their side as quickly as possible and spread out accordingly to offer multiple passing options to their teammates.

In addition to this, players should;

  • make informed decisions about which players go over to defend (should be the players nearest to the ball when possession is lost).
  • move the ball quickly when in possession.
  • remember to keep their heads up and look around them at all times.
  • look to receive with open hips so they can play in multiple directions.


You can use this activity to focus on pressing and defending as a unit as well as transition and possession! Key elements when focusing on pressing and defending include good communication, being compact as a unit, and the 2nd and 3rd defenders cutting off passing lanes.