Rondos

"Everything that goes on in a match, except shooting, you can do in a rondo." - Johan Cruyff

Coaches
Introduction to Rondos

What is a rondo? Why do we use them? How can they help our players? This brief introduction to the rondo  should answer any questions you may have and give you a basic understanding of the rondo, as well as a few ideas for the key coaching points involved and how they will help develop your players.

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Coaches
4v0 / 4v1 Rondo

This basic introductory rondo is a great place to start. As a warm up it gets your players moving and working on their first touch, communication, movement off the ball and passing skills. It can be adapted depending on age / ability, but you can introduce this as young as U7 and still be using it at U18 as the start to a session.  

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Coaches
4v2+1 Rondo

This rondo involves 7 players and is a progression on from the 4v0 / 4v1 rondo. A central attacking "number 10" player is added and we now have 2 defenders in the middle trying to win the ball back. The setup mimics two wingers, a centre mid, a striker and a number 10 or a back 3, a CDM and a CAM, so you can reference position when showing your players and help them understand how their movement and passing options might relate to a game situation and their positions.

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Coaches
4v4+1 Rondo

This possession game involves 9 players and is a great warm up activity. Some may argue it's not technically a "rondo", as the team sizes are equal, but because you have a neutral player, there is always an overload for the team in possession. Because 4 players get to rest in the corners at any one time (they are still involved, but just don't have to move much), you can ask your players for 2 or 3 minutes of real intensity before they switch out and get a rest.

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Coaches
4v4v4+2 Rondo

This is a great rondo for a large number of players and for practising a quick transition between being in and out of possession. The setup can be adapted slightly if you have less / more players. Change the size of teams, number of neutral players or size of area. If you have an odd number of players in a team then instead of having the team providing the "bounce" players locked in the corners, one or more of them can operate on an edge as a mobile bounce player. This practice can easily become 3v3v3+1 or 5v5v5+2 or so on.

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Coaches
6v6+3 Rondo

This rondo is fairly intense, with a lot of players involved and constant transition between roles. It's probably not one for younger or inexperienced players, as it requires a good level of technical ability and awareness to keep possession in a small space with so many players involved. Making the area larger will make it easier if your team are struggling. Generally though, would only recommend for ages 12+ and only when your players are consistently executing effectively in the above exercises.

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Coaches
4v2+2 Transitional Rondo

This transitional rondo is a progression from the 4v2+1 rondo (above). A second rectangle marked out next to the first, with a target player at the far end, allows the entire rondo to switch to the second area either once a certain number of passes have been completed or just whenever the players feel the option for a longer pass into the target player is appropriate. The defenders in this exercise have to work really hard!

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Coaches
Rondos - Game Relevance

The scenarios your players find themselves in during a rondo activity, the angles they make to support their team mates, their movement off the ball and the positions they find themselves in in relation to other players will be replicated over and over again within a match scenario. Understanding that and seeing those shapes will help your players understand part of the reason for "why" they are practicing these rondos and putting them in these situations over and over again will lead to them having a mental picture of what to do next that their brains can call on in a split second during a match. This section goes into that game-relevance in a bit more detail.

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Remember, if you can't find what you're looking for, you can use the search or e-mail ian.knapp@langtongreencsa.org.uk to ask any questions...