Effective transition defense can prevent your opponent from advancing into your defensive half. By teaching your team to communicate in the back four you can help close down passing lanes and limit your opponents ability get to behind your defense and thus reduce their scoring opportunities.

In the video below Illinois Wesleyan Head Women’s Soccer Coach, Dave Barrett shows you a drill that will teach your back four defenders to be organized organized and positioned to win the ball. The clip is from a DVD that also covers:
How to teach your back four to retreat and take away space in front of the goal
How to teach the correct technique to close space while defending
How to train midfield players to back-tackle during transition

For more information about purchasing this DVD click on the link Techniques and Tactics for Transition Defending

The YouTube video below has sound, so please make sure that the sound is turned on and that you have access to YouTube. (Some schools block access to YouTube)

The transition defense drill is part of a progression of drills. This drill is played 4v4 with the offense starting at the midfield line. The offense has three players at the the midfield line each with a ball. One striker is placed forward in line with the back four defenders.

On coaches whistle the three attackers with a balls begin dribbling towards the retreating defenders. The defense must track all three attacking players as they each have a ball. They must also communciate the position of the striker. After a few seconds the coach will call out a number 1-3. The number represents which of the three players will continue with the ball. The other two disregard their ball and play begins from this position. The defense must now communicate and adjust to the attacking players as well as be the position of the striker and any potential threatening runs she might make.

The defenders have three goals:

1. Kick the ball out of bounds
2. Play the ball back to the keeper
3. Keep possession

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