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Ball possession 5 vs 3 - The transition

Ball possession 5 vs 3 - The transition

  • Sufficient markers to outline the field 
  • 5 vests
  • 1 goal
  • Sufficient balls to ensure continuity
  • Playing area: 80x50 meters
  • Players: 10 + goalkeeper
  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Series: 2
Summary Secondary Objectives
Ball possession simplified game, 5 vs 3 to work on the positive transition
Losing your marker, Pass, Finishing, Intercepting, Tackling, Ball possession

The playing area for the exercise is more or less half of a regulatory field. Form two adjacent 20x20 meters squares about 10 meters distant from the penalty area using the markers. Divide the team into two groups of 5 players. In one of the squares place 5 players (2 white and 3 red) and outside of it on 3 sides of the square place white players. Place red players outside of the other square, on the outermost side and on the closest side to the goal. Give a ball to the white team.

  • The exercise starts with 5 white players possessing the ball against 3 red players. A 5 vs 3 is set.
  • The objective of the white team, that currently possesses the ball, is to perform 10 consecutive passes without having the opponent intercept the ball
  • If the red ones recover the ball they pass it to the teammates on the other square and go there followed by 3 white defenders (Figure 1)


Figure 1


  • When the team that possesses the ball reaches the objective of 10 consecutive passes they can now go and try to complete the action (ex. lofted ball or 1v1)
  • When the attacking team tries to complete the action, the opponent that is on the high side of the square follows the striker to prevent him from shooting (Figure 2)


Figure 2

  • Ball possession inside the square is done at 2 ball touches allowed
Coaching Points
  • Ball possession:
    • Create possession triangles, to avoid opponents
    • Work on the reaction to the negative transition, once the player loses the ball, the closest player to the ball, presses the opponent while their teammates get closer
    • Work on the distances between players
    • Work on body positioning during the reception, it should always be facing the widest part of the pitch
    • Encourage the give and go: After playing the ball to a teammate, the player continues their race to go to an empty space an receive the ball again
    • Minimum ideal unity: The player that has the ball must always have available a minimum number of players that can guarantee him a pass at any time
    • The player that is closer to the one that possesses the ball must choose what to do, approaching or in depth move, activating consequently the relative movement of their teammates
    • Encourage players to perform the counter movement to lose the marker and the consequent reception of the ball
  • To accomplish a continuous mobility and keep the propper staggering, two close players who are on the same line either vertical or horizontal have to move, creating diagonal lines
  • Encourage the player that is going to defend when strikers try to complete their action to quickly read it, closing a possible contrast with  the opponent or the passing lanes

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