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3v1 Rondo


Field Setup: Create a square playing grid suitable for the players’ age, skill level, and physical capacity. The grid must be sized so players can comfortably pass across its width with proper technique. Position three players around the grid, each on a different side, leaving one side open. One player operates as the defender inside the grid.

Teams: There are four players involved. Three act as attackers on the perimeter of the grid, working in unison to keep the ball away from the lone defender positioned inside the grid.

Activity: The objective for the three outer players is to maintain possession by passing the ball around the defender. The trio must utilize the entire width and breadth of the playing grid, employing crisp, accurate passes to keep the ball out of the defender’s reach. If the defender manages to intercept or block a pass, they switch places with the player who made the unsuccessful pass.

Coaching Principles

The 3v1 Rondo activity centers on nurturing support play and enhancing off-the-ball movement. It encourages the two players without possession to be cognizant of their movement based on the ball’s location, ensuring they are optimally positioned to receive a pass and maintain the flow of the game. It hones players’ ability to anticipate the play, providing constant support, and making intelligent runs to facilitate ball retention and create passing options.

The key principle here is for the supporting players to position themselves on the right and left sides of the playing grid, providing clear passing options to the player with the ball. These players should avoid being directly opposite the grid from the ball to prevent the defender from easily cutting off passing lanes.

Movement is vital in this activity. Players should be dynamic, moving whenever the ball is passed and they are not receiving it, to maintain support and open up the field.

Coaching Points

Players should aim to receive the ball with their back foot, allowing it to travel across their body, which facilitates a quicker transition into the next action.

Players must maintain an open body stance, squarely facing the center of the grid, to keep all potential plays in view.

Whenever the ball is passed, the non-receiving players should move to an open side of the grid to provide support. This constant motion ensures that the player with the ball always has two passing options.

Variations & Progressions

Modify the size of the grid to alter the difficulty. A smaller space will challenge the players in possession with tighter confines, while a larger grid eases the pressure and allows more room for error.