How do you work defensive and offensive transitions in training?

In today's football world, transitions have become one of the most crucial actions in the game. But what is a transition?

A transition is that moment when there is a change in the game that triggers a series of actions by both teams. Some with the aim of attacking and the others with the aim of defending themselves.

Types of transitions

In all matches there are two types of transitions. Offensive and defensive.

On the one hand, offensive transitions are defined as those in which the team has recovered the ball and tries to mount the attack towards the rival's goal.

On the other hand, defensive transitions are those in which the team loses the ball and must reorganize to recover it and thus avoid the attack of the opposing team.

Offensive transitions

  • Counterattack. The counterattack is defined as the offensive reaction, before the previous advance of the opposing team, in which the rhythm of the play is highly fast and frenetic.
  • Static play. If our team has recovered the ball and wants to start an offensive play, we must find a safety pass that from then on makes us return to the game cycle that gives us the opportunity to start the attack.

Defensive transitions

  • Pressure at the ball outlet. If we have lost the ball and now the rival has it, we must go up to pressure the rival and try to recover the ball as soon as possible in the same area or a nearby area from which we have lost the ball.
  • Defensive retreat. Once the rival has recovered the ball, this transition refers to the action of going back towards our goal and reorganizing the team in order to be prepared to defend the next attack of the rival team.

The transitions according to the coaches

Two of the best managers in the world and current managers of two great Premier League teams such as Liverpool and Manchester City, shared their respective opinions on the transitions at the time.

The charismatic manager of Liverpool Jurgen Klopp stated: “Football is about speed. It is a game of transitions. The best time to win the ball is immediately after your team has lost it. If you get the ball back high up the field and close to the goal, it's just a pass, and that pass will turn into a really good chance most of the time. No playmaker in the world can be as good as an opponent's turnover recovery in three quarters of the pitch.".

Also, the exemplary coach of Manchester City Pep Guardiola He said: “My players must always want to have the ball. If they don't have it, they have to chase it like hunting dogs to retrieve it quickly and close to the rival's goal, because we are closer to the goal”.

The importance of training transitions

As we mentioned initially, transitions are actions of great importance within the match, which arise constantly throughout the match. For this reason, it is necessary to train both offensive and defensive transitions in training, since it is vital to master them throughout the match.

Because team play is important, but transitions can win games.

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