How to Develop a Rondo Over Time and Increase the Challenges

The following is part of Soccer Awareness New eBook: Tactical Thoughts on the Development of the New 4 v 4, 7 v 7 and 9 v 9 Game Sizes

This 407 page eBook shows how these different size games can be taught and also shows different systems of play that might be useful to you.

Run with them as you may and of course come up with your own solutions too as that is what coaching is all about. I have introduced the use of RONDOS to initially aid the development of players for the game situation. Click Here to Buy the Book

The following diagrams show the basic Rondo we begin with.  

It is none pressured, unlimited touches, and presented in a simple way to allow the players to easily begin the process of education. It is the attention to detail that is paramount in the learning process. The Ball must  be passed around the square not across it. Players adjust their position based on the ball. They use the cones as positional points of reference.

  1. Players MUST always open up their body stance to receive with their BACK FOOT. Ways to build the Rondo and increase challenges:
  2. Playing unlimited touches
  3. Playing 3 touches
  4. Playing two touches; 
  5. Playing one touch when able but  2 touches maximum
  6. Adding a defender in the middle so 4 v 1 (can again go back to unlimited touches, 3, then 2, then 1 when able so many more progressions just within the 4 v 1 itself).
  7. Players change position and rotate on the outside
  8. Add another defender, now 4 v 2 (number of touches, size of area change etc) 
  9. Challenge outside player to split the 2 defenders with a pass between them
  10. Add a neutral attacking player in the middle who outside players MUST involve consistently so now 4 v 2 plus 1. Neutral player 3 or 2 touches only
  11. Neutral player ONE touch only
  12. Neutral player can rotate in and out with outside players; so very fast decision making in rotations of players added to the passing itself. 
  13. Reduce to a 3 v 1 rondo and assess if the players are ready to play 1 or 2 touches yet. A very fast movement off the ball challenge now
  14. Decrease the size of the grid so less space, faster decisions needed; tighter passing lanes to find, better soccer awareness required.
  15. Can you think of any other progressions you could add to this to increase the challenge and intensity of the practice?
  16. Once players are EXCELLENT at all these progressions a logical move now would be to go to double rondos.  More players, more options, more decisions, and now mental transitions happen more going from attacking to defending at pace

Soccer Awareness Sliding Rondos using one and two touches (or more if needed) 

SA Sliding Rondos no rotational movement outside to inside

sliding rondos

Defending players stay in for one minute then change with outside players. Very fast tempo playing ONE touch where they can. We must play into the central neutral pivot player as often as possible. Do this one with no movement or rotation of players to begin.

SA Sliding Rondos using with only the pivot player changing


5 v 2 rondos

Very fast tempo playing ONE touch where they can. Here (E) slides outside and (B) slides inside on the blindside of the ball and (D) makes a one touch pass to (C) who immediately passes to (B) to then pass to (A). Players must slide in and out as often as they can to keep the momentum going.

The 407 page Soccer Awareness eBook: Tactical Thoughts on the Development of the New 4 v 4, 7 v 7 and 9 v 9 Game Sizes includes more drills, diagrams and coaching points on utilizing Rondos in your training.