Rondo - 6v6+3

  • Author: Ian Knapp
  • Age Group: U12 to U17+
  • Time: 20 minutes

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.

  • 28 x 20 yard rectangle (size of area to change depending on age / ability of players).
  • 2 x teams of 6 players in different coloured bibs (whites vs pinks, below) plus three neutral players in a third colour of bib (blue, below).
  • Teams play 6v6, whilst the neutral players play for the team in possession, creating a 9v6.
  • Coach with several footballs to the side

Basic Rules:

  • Team in possession tries to keep the ball and execute as many consecutive passes as they can.
  • Once the opposition win the ball back, the neutral players switch and play for them.
  • Play for a set time (say, 3 minutes intensively) and then take a short break. Winning team is the one who managed the most consecutive passes before losing the ball.
  • Rotate neutral players if required.
  • If the ball goes out, coach sends a new one in immediately, to whichever team didn't just lose possession.
General Coaching Point:
  • Encourage team with the ball to spread out and create width / depth. The team without the ball must be compact and close off the passing options. The transition between these two shapes is key and will constantly be happening as teams win / lose possession.
Progressions / Variations:
  • Give points for a certain number of passes (i.e 1 point for 6 passes, 2 points for 10).
  • Allow a goalkeeper to catch the ball / roll it back to a teammate.
  • Use flat cones to split the area into quarters. Have one of the neutral players as a goalie. Each team has to pass the ball into the goalkeeper's hands in each of the 4 quarters to win the game.
  • Make the practice directional by adding gates or small goals that the players have to score through.

Coaching Points (FA's 4 Corners):
  • "Passing empathy" - direction and weight of pass
  • First touch - direction, cushioning, onto back foot, the surface we use to control the ball (foot, chest, thigh etc.)
  • Spacing - in possession we want to spread out and find space.
  • Speed of play (play in one or two touch with pace)
  • Movement off the ball / finding a space to receive a pass.
  • Choice of pass (long between corner players, short, bounce pass / layoff etc.)
  • Defensive shape, organisation and energy (one presses ball, others cover and block passing options)
  • Transition from in possession to out of possession (and vice versa) - quick, "switch on" to the change of role. Can we go from width and depth in possession to being compact out of possession.
  • Communication (tell the player on the ball what to do with it)
  • Thinking ahead and decision making - which player to pass to (decide BEFORE the ball has arrived with you)
  • Adapt to coach constantly sending a new ball in (be "on your toes")
  • Speed of thought - roles constantly changing as we win and lose possession.
  • Mental intensity - really concentrate and engage in the practice.
  • Speed of play
  • Body shape when receiving a pass
  • Strength to hold off opponents
  • Work rate - you get a rest after 3 minutes. The rest of the time we want to see intensity and effort levels (physical and mental intensity).
  • Working as a team
  • Encouraging others and not being negative
  • Communication
  • Have fun!