Position Exchange

Drill Purpose

During a game, players should feel free to support another player by taking over that player’s position if necessary. For example, an offensive player may need to fall back and take a defensive role if the defender carries a ball forward for a shot or a cross. There are many situations in which players fill in for one another. Beginning players are often hesitant to leave their position, but with experience understand that it’s temporary and will help the team. Position Exchange is a drill used to practice building a scoring opportunity by players who exchange positions.


1. Three players make up each drill group. A should be one of the team’s current wing forwards and B is a midfielder.

2. The distance from A to B is about 5-10 yards. A to the defensive player is about 5-7 yards.

3. B makes a run for the corner while A pushes a pass to the open space in the corner.

4. A breaks towards the goal to receive a crossed ball from B.

5. A then shoots at the goal.

Points of Emphasis

Position Exchange is a tactical soccer drill in which players develop familiarity with leaving a position temporarily to help the team. During Position Exchange instruct players to…

– not feel “chained” to a position at all times – it’s ok to leave a position to help as long as you come back after a play is over.

– communicate to each other that a position is being vacated and the empty position may need to be filled temporarily.


As players gain an understanding of the drill, further variations include:

1. Running the same drill with 3 other players at the same time on the other side of the field.
2. Adding more defenders to add pressure.
3. Having A return to his/her original position after taking a shot.

Motivation / Teaching Tips

Tip #1 – Encourage players to change positions if necessary but
return after the play sequence is over.

Tip #2 – Encourage offensive players to come back on defense if
a defender is making a run with a ball.

Tip #3 – Award successful shots on goal.

2 Responses to Position Exchange

  1. R. Bice April 5, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    This is a good drill, especially if you use it in conjunction with some other drills. I use it after I have my players cross going down the field. They seem to get the whole idea of why they should cross and use it with switching positions. Thanks for the good drill.


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