Transition is quite possibly the most important discipline that helps players as they move up the competitive ladder. There are many top coaches throughout the world that believe transition is vital to player and team success. At a conference in Brazil prior to the 2006 World Cup, Carlos Alberto Parreira (Former Brazilian National Coach) stated that he was adjusting the Brazilian national team’s formation to accommodate for more counterattacking to make a quicker transition into the attack. The speed in which a player makes that change from defense to attack or attack to defense can never be too quick. A player may possess a capable skill level and sound tactical knowledge; but if they do not transition with speed, the door will close before they ever get to demonstrate their skills and tactics.
As coaches we understand that the ball is our player’s main interest. When possession is won each individual player must adhere to the principles of the game; get a team shape that provides them with the best possible opportunity for success as the attack is started. At the moment of gaining possession, if the attacking side can organize a counterattack and the side losing the ball is slow to transition into their defensive shape, there will be a great opportunity for the attacking team to develop scoring chances. As important as the transition from defense to attack is, in the modern game this is usually easier to accomplish because the ball provides the motivation.
The more difficult to develop is transitioning from attack to defense. As the saying goes the players must be just as willing to run back as they are to run forward. In order to organize the team defense and high press the opponent players need to have lightning fast physical and mental reactions when transitioning to defense. As coaches it is our responsibility to make transition training a coaching emphasis. Training sessions must have the ingredient of transition in all activities and it must be continually practiced and stressed.
The ASET Coaching Education Department hopes you find our training activities beneficial in teaching your players transition.
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