Guardiola’s secret weapon

Pep Guardiola runs all his teams on a diet of Rondos.

The techniques worked on by Rondo are passing, receiving and control. There is also the tactical element of where the defender is and where a player needs to pass the ball; the physical movement that fluctuates much like match pace; and the social side of the game where players are constantly talking and communicating between each other. So all in all, rondo is a winner.

Players love it and laugh and joke the whole time as they try to avoid going in the middle – but once they’ve made a mistake and have to take a turn, they work extra hard to get out again. But that’s the beauty of the game. Let’s also not underestimate the importance of the defenders learning to intercept or press players into making mistakes.

All in all you can see why Guardiola uses them to coach his team.

Check out my five ways to use Rondos:

Start by reading my 8 tips for Rondo success which explains about using Rondos and what your players can get out of them. It’s a great way to encourage players to recreate match-like situations and solve them themselves.

Key Rondo passes is a great way of making Rondos into a game with points for different passes and passes that split the defending pair. It will really get your players working hard to score points.

Now you need to play a Rondo. One of my favourites is Final pass Rondo which works on passing vision and is linked to creative play in and around the final third of the pitch. Easy to set up, it is great fun for your players as well as being a technical challenge.

I also like to use Full squad Rondo because it is different to the kind you would use for warming up. This Rondo gets players into scoring positions and gives a good work out in shooting and scoring goals. It’s a game for older age groups as it involves 18 players but it is a fantastic work-out during training.

For good fun Rondos, I turn the basic Rondo into a game where players are moving their Rondo from square to square trying to beat their opponents who are also moving in a Rondo. Moving the ball around the circle and also moving the circle around the area takes great concentration and technique but the added competition makes Rondo Decisions a great game to play.

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