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3 Zone Moving Rondo

Coaching Principles

Mobility is a key focus of this drill, requiring players to dynamically find space and adjust their positions. As the green team works to complete passes, players must move strategically to open passing channels and outmaneuver the defender, honing their ability to navigate tight spaces and maintain fluidity in their game.

In terms of off-the-ball movement, the drill teaches players to stay active and involved even when they don’t have the ball. Players must anticipate the play, provide support, and execute decoy runs to draw the defender away, essential skills for disrupting the defence and maintaining possession under pressure.

Activity & Set Up

Divide your playing field into three horizontal thirds—green, red, and blue. The green team starts in the green third and must complete five passes while a blue defender tries to intercept. Once five passes are made, the team moves into the red middle third to repeat the passing sequence. If the defender intercepts, the green team restarts in the green third. The objective is to reach the blue third with continuous successful passes in the preceding sections, fostering the green team’s skills in maintaining possession and transitioning through zones under defensive pressure.

Variations & Progressions

If your players are struggling to have success with the activity have one of the players go wait in the next zone so there is a player waiting and ready to receive the pass when the team is ready to transition. Once the team transitions to the middle red third a new player goes and waits in the final blue third


To add additional challenge and force the players to transition into the next third ahead of time add a rule where the ball must be passed into the next third on a specific pass for example the 5th pass must be played into the next third. Players will have to pay attention to number of passes made and anticipate the pass and be in the next third in order to receive the pass.

Make the activity more challenging by increasing the number of defenders instead of 5v1 make the activity 4v2. Alternatively you can make the team in possession make more passes before they transition to the next third or a combination of both of these.


Coaching Points

Coaches should emphasize the importance of players orienting their bodies towards the next third they are playing into. This forward-facing stance enables players to have a clear view of the field, receive the ball on the half-turn, and make quick, decisive plays. Encourage players to constantly be aware of their body position in relation to the ball and the thirds of the field, allowing for fluid transitions and better control under pressure.

It’s crucial for players to move into the next third before the ball arrives, rather than reacting to the pass. Coaches should instill a sense of anticipation, instructing players to read the game and position themselves early in the next third to ensure they’re ready for the incoming pass. This proactive approach can give players the

Effective communication and maintaining a broad vision of the field are essential. Coaches should encourage players to constantly communicate, calling for the ball and directing teammates to open spaces. Players should be trained to keep their heads up, scanning the field to better understand the positions of teammates and the defender. This holistic view allows for more strategic passing and enhances the team’s overall coordination.