Football Passing drill – 5v5 Rondo

by Pablo M25th Nov 2020

Drill created with Tactics Manager

Rondos are simple warm-up exercises that improve your team’s ball possession. Many coaches create rondo variations to avoid repeating the same old routine. This post describes a football passing drill inspired by the classic rondo.


You will need about 1/8 of a football pitch, 6 cones and a ball. Use the cones to set a hexagon, as shown in the picture.

This drill works best with 2 teams of 5 players each. 3 players per team position themselves outside the hexagon in an interspersed manner. 2 players per team move inside the hexagon. Multiple groups can run this drill if you have more than 20 players and a full field available.


This passing drill is similar to a rondo with a few twists. Follow these basic instructions:

  • 3 players per team position themselves outside the hexagon in an interspersed manner.
  • 2 players per team move inside the hexagon.
  • The drill finishes at a set time (e.g., 15 minutes) or when a team reaches a target number of consecutive passes (e.g., 25). The team that completed more consecutive passes wins.
  • Outside players cannot step inside the hexagon nor leave their side of the hexagon.
  • Inside players cannot step out of the hexagon.
  • The ball can be passed to any teammate: inside player to outside player, outside player to external player, inside player to inside player.
  • Players in control of the ball are only allowed 2 touches: control and pass.
  • The players attempting to recover the ball can only touch the ball 3 times: interception, control and passing.
  • A ball is considered recovered when it is controlled. Deflecting or kicking the ball out of the game is not enough to regain possession.
  • Switch inside players with outside players every two changes of possession. In other words, inside players have one go at defending, one go at controlling the ball and then move to an outside position.
  • Switch outside players in a clockwise manner. Decide who will be the first 4 outside players (2 per team) to swap roles with the inside players before you start.
  • Sliding tackles are not allowed.
  • If a player breaks one of the rules above and their team has the ball, their team loses possession.
  • If the player’s team does not have the ball and breaks one of the rules above, the team in control of the ball automatically gets 5 more passes to their telly.


Rondos improve technique in tight areas, encourages intelligent movement and automate passing the ball in triangles. From a defensive point of view, this drill teaches to press, close down passing lanes and read the player’s intentions on the ball. In addition, this football passing drill provides these benefits:

  • Fitness. Introducing a target number of passes makes the drill very competitive and, in turn, increases the intensity. This game is physically demanding, particularly for inside defending players.
  • Passing. The only way of winning this game is by players improving their passing technique (and positioning).
  • Positioning. Inside players must move on and off the ball to create passing lanes. When defending, inside players have to position themselves to close passing lanes.
  • First touch. Because the number of allowed touches is restricted, players must improve their first touch to control and pass the ball.
  • Teamwork. This passing drill encourages teamwork over individual efforts. Players have to coordinate their movements to keep or regain possession.