soccer transition drills

4 Best Soccer Transition Drills to Promote Ball Movement

Soccer transition drills are essential to make players more familiar with passing and driving in a real game. 

These soccer transition drills will help encourage your players to face these specific phases of the game while allowing them to gain confidence and have more experience during a warm-up.

Quick Transition Game

A quick transition game can be modified to work on different aspects of the game. Begin by using a 35 by 45-yard field, placing two goals at either end of the field. Split up your team into three teams, with four players on each team. Each team should have a color, like yellow, blue, or red. A goalkeeper should be in each goal.

During this soccer transition drill, begin with the yellow team attacking the blue team. The red team will begin playing by having two players at each goal. They will act as neutral supporting players for the other colors playing.

If team yellow scores on team blue, team yellow must retrieve the soccer ball quickly and attack the goal on the opposing side. Team blue becomes the supporting player outside, and team red goes onto the field and plays against team yellow.

Continue to rotate the colors by rotating the team getting scored on with the neutral supporting team. The first team that gets five goals wins the game. Some variations include having the supporting players play in one touch and having the attackers play through the supporting players before scoring a goal.

quick transition drill


This basic game’s main objective is to focus on attacking and defending in real gametime situations. It helps to teach the basic principles of soccer. This is a great starting drill for young players who are just starting to develop their transition skills. 

4x4 +3 Transition Game

During this soccer transition drill, a 4x4 +3 transition game should be played in an area of 30 x 20 yards with 11 players. Three neutral players on team yellow play down the line of the exercise. One player should be in the center, and the other two should be on the end lines. 

Your teams will rotate roles depending on who is keeping possession of the ball. Team gray begins by defending and assumes the position on the playing area’s end. Once losing control of the ball, both teams switch positions and roles. The neutral players, players 4,5,6, and 9, act as CM, CB, and CF. Select the position for this exercise based on the positions of your team. 

Teams orange and gray could be grouped according to positional grouping. The defending team plays only in the central playing area. There should be two members from team yellow on each line end and one in the center. 

Play the game for six minutes and take a one-minute break. The attacking team scores by scoring the full goal and the defending team scores by passing the ball through two smaller goals or by dribbling to the smaller goals.


The 4x4 +3 transition game's coaching points are to help your players develop possession skills, build-up play tempo, decision making skills, improve dribbling patterns, and transition.

4 + 4 vs 4 + 4

One of the most efficient soccer transition drills is the 4 + 4 vs 4 + 4 drill. It requires two goalkeepers in a 235 by 25-yard area. It is a fast-paced 4 vs 4 soccer game that utilizes four neutrals outside the field of play. 

For the game variations, the inside players have a two-touch limit and the outside players have a one-touch limit. After the players win the ball, they must play to an outside player before scoring. 

4+4 vs 4+4 transition drill


The objective of a 4 + 4 vs 4 +4 game is for the team mates to practice their shooting technique, following up shots, and to have constant transition and awareness. 

The defenders become the attackers and the attacks become the defenders. This soccer transition drill also encourages your players to work on using both sides of their feet and how to do touches properly.

8 vs. 8 Breakout to Goal

The 8 vs 8 breakout to goal is a training session of about  15-minutes that uses three equal zones on a full 30 to 35-yard field. This 8 vs 8 breakout to goal game must be played with keepers. In the center third of the field, the teams play possession. Possession drills can help players prepare for this drill.

The deepest player on the attacking team runs toward the goal and finishes on the frame when there is a turnover. The goalkeeper plays the ball back into the midfield to start the game again. 

You can limit the number of touches in the center third to promote the play’s speed and add more attackers and defenders as part of the transition to the goal. The player who wins the ball looks up the field to locate the running player. When a team loses the ball, they must apply quick pressure on the ball to prevent a through ball.

8v8 breakout drill


The objective of the 8 vs 8 breakout to goal soccer game is for teammates to better understand the timing of the run and the ball delivery.  

Final Thoughts

Practicing these 4 transition drills in soccer with your players will help them improve their skills for the actual soccer game.

Using the Opengoaaal 3-in-1 Trainer can help players practice their skills in their yard without worrying about the ball going over the fence or rolling away. 

At 10 ft tall and up to 21 ft wide, this training equipment can help players keep active, become faster, and can help them practice their soccer transition drills. 

Pass it on

Pass it on