Directional defending rondo

Start & organisation

  • At least 3 defenders and at least five attackers positioned around grid, set up as a square within a square
  • Players on outside try to keep the ball and get a pass through the middle square
  • Defenders on inside try to win the ball back and stop passes through the middle
  • Swap the defenders after a set time period (e.g. 1 minute)

Timings: 10-20 minutes
Pitch size: Large square
Number of players: 8-12 players
Other rules: N/A


  • Introduce limits on the number of touches by attacking players
  • If defenders win the ball, they must pass between themselves to ‘get out’ of defending (when this happens, the attackers can try to win the ball back to stop the pass)

What to look for

  • Is the first defender closing/delaying the ball?
  • Are the supporting defenders moving close to the first defender to cover them?
  • Are the defenders changing roles as the ball moves?

What the coach can do

  • Demonstrate how the defenders should change roles as the ball moves, by showing players correct positioning