Rondos are simple warm-up exercises that improve your team possession of the ball. Many coaches create their own variations of the rondo to avoid repeating the same old exercise. 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 an 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. If you have more than 20 players and a full field available, you can have multiple groups running this drill.
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 either on 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 outside 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. Simply deflecting the ball or kicking it 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 before you start who will be the first 4 outside players (2 per team) that will swap roles with the inside players.
- Sliding tackles are not allowed.
- If a player breaks one of the rules above and their team is in possession of the ball, their team loses possession.
- If the player’s team is not in possession of 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, closing down passing lanes and reading the intentions of the player on the ball. In addition, this football passing drill provide 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 at this game is by players improving their passing technique (and positioning).
- Positioning. Inside players have to 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.
- Team work. This passing drill encourages team work over individual efforts. Players have to coordinate their movements in order to keep or regain possession.