Escape the rondo is a keep away style game where the players in the middle need to dribble out as soon as they have won the ball. It’s an excellent drill for players to work on keeping possession and collapsing on the ball as soon as it is lost.

Set Up

To get started set up a square grid for players to play keep away in. At least one ball is needed, however, to minimize down time it can be nice to have a reserve of balls close by. 

This drill works best with six players so that players can play 4v2 in the middle. However, it could also work with different numbers of players such as 3v1, 5v2, 5v3, etc. In the event that you use the 4v2 variation, players can partner up creating three teams of two with one of the teams starting in the middle.

How It Works

The ball starts with the players who have the numerical advantage as they attempt to keep possession and pass around the defenders. If the defenders win the ball, they can earn a point by dribbling outside of the square. 

The scoring in this game can work in a variety of different ways. One way is to have defenders stay in the middle of the square for a certain amount of time and see how many points they can earn. In this way the groups of defenders are competeting with eachother in separate rounds to see who can earn the most points.

Another way is to award points to the team in possession for holding on to the ball for a certain length time or completing a minimum number of passes. With this method the team in possession is competing directly with the defenders.

Coaching Points

This drill emphasizes that the attacking team attempts to win the ball back quickly as soon as it is lost so that the defending team does not successfully dribble out of the square. In this way it’s good to work on transitioning quickly from offense to defense. 

Additionally players reap all the benefits of a normal rondo drill such as working on passing technique, positioning off the ball, and defensive teamwork. 

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