How to keep Possession in A 4 V 2 Rondo (05-P1)

How to keep Possession in A 4 V 2 Rondo (05-P1)


Organisation / Set Up

In this Opposed 4 v 2 practice, possession team must keep the ball in each of the 4 parts within this 20 x 20 area, against 2 defending players who can press to regain in any area.

If defenders win the ball, they can now play a 2 v 1 in a single 10 x 10 area to make 5 passes, before moving into another square to do the same. When attacking team win the ball back, they keep possession the initial 4 v 2 again.

  • Attacking Emphasis 70% 70%
  • Defending Emphasis 30% 30%

Age Group

Number of Players


See all of Coaching Theme 5:


Key Points – Dispersal (Pitch Use)

Players must make full use of this 20 by 20 yard area, keeping the ball moving in each area to keep possession. Dispersal to create space making it difficult to for defenders to win the ball is crucial and gives possession players more time and space to play around defenders. 

Progression 1: Must Split Defenders

When they get they opportunity they must look to split the 2 defenders to score a point as shown. To achieve this, they must look to move defenders apart by keeping the ball on the outside and forcing that pressure. 

Progression 2: 2 Defenders Go 2 v 1 On Regain 

If the 2 whites win the ball, they must make 10 passes in this single area to score a point against a single defender. They must quickly move into a single 10 by 10 yard area and complete these passes under pressure using this smaller space to keep the ball moving.

Progression 3 – Extra Defender Joins After 10 Passes

After 10 passes another defender can press in this small zone to regain quickly creating a 2 v 2, ensuring players are checking shoulders for any pressure that might arrive behind them. As well as checking shoulders, players will increase their level of communication with extra pressure triggered by 10 succesful passes. 

Key Coaching Points: Split Defenders to Break

If players can split the 2 defenders quickly, they can then move into the empty square unopposed, awaiting one of the two remaining defenders to press to regain, repeating the process. How long can the pair keep possession? Set challenges for paired players with 3 teams of 2.

Key Coaching Points

– Short, sharp and concise passing
– Understanding between players of each other’s movement to keep possesson
– Supporting angles to create space and time to keep the ball


How can you draw players in to create space?
What is the best passing angle you can provide for your teammate?
How quickly can you win possession to force the possession team to move the ball at pace?

How to Rotate to Create Space in a Rondo (04-P2)

How to Rotate to Create Space in a Rondo (04-P2)

This practice focuses on players rotational movement to create space in a central area, before reacting to winning possession. With a 30 x 30 Yard area and 15 x 15 Yard central area, 4 players keep possession against 2 centrally. 2 defending players who win possession can breakout with 4 outside players to create a 6 v 4 overload. Develop rotational movement between central players and outside players to create space to exploit.

  • Attacking Emphasis 60% 60%
  • Defending Emphasis 40% 40%

Age Group

Number of Players


See all of Coaching Theme 4:

Objective: Rotational Movement to Keep Possession

Central players must rotate every 5 passes, through effective verbal and non verbal communication (e.g. Eye Contact and hand gestures) to move opposition players around.

Coaching Effect: Transition when Possession Won

When Blues win possession, they must now break out into the larger area into a 6 v 4 overload practice. Blues can rotate central players providing more flexibility, yet keeping 2 players in the central area at any one time, with whites pressing on the outside to regain. 

Progression: Add Goals to Add Focus and Challenge

Progress by now introducing 4 goals as shown. Whites can finish in any of the 4 goals on the outside after making 10 passes or splitting 2 defenders. focus on speed of possession transfer as soon as defenders are split.

Key Coaching Point: Initiate immediate possession after goal

Coach must pass a ball in immediately after they score in one of the 4 mini goal to encourage whites to finish in any of the other 3 goals, again by making 10 passes or splitting defenders in the central zone. 

Key Coaching Point: Draw Pressure on the Outside to Switch Play

Objective for Blues when they win possession is to keep the ball on this expanded area to make 10 passes before finishing in the goals themselves. If whites win the ball they take it back to a 4 v 2 in the central area, repeating the challenge to get 10 passes or split both defenders.

Key Coaching Points
  • Tactical | Recognise when to rotate to move opposition players
  • Technical | Passing quality to keep the ball in tight spaces
  • Social | Player understanding of when to move out and replace teammates in space created
  • Where is the space on regaining possession and how can you exploit this?
  • How do defenders react with slow possession and when you speed up possession?
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