What do rondo's really teach and are they valuable for youth players?
Rondo's are used at the very highest levels of soccer/football, across the world rondo's are seen as a staple of training for players of all ages. However, here in America there seems to be a distrust of rondo's and in some cases a belief that they are bad or shouldn't be used or taught.
I have grown up with the idea of having as many tools at your disposal as possible, rondo's are nothing more than a way to describe playing a keep away type game that does not go to goal. However, rondo's can vary in size, in number of players, in location so for anyone to say that rondo's are bad they are painting with a very wide brush.
In my view Rondo's are like anything else, used poorly or incorrectly, they don't work, but used properly they can be an important part of your coaching program.
Listed below are some key things that Rondo's can help with...
Technique - Lot of opportunities to receive the ball, manipulate the ball and pass the ball. The coach can turn the pressure up or down depending on set up.
Competitiveness - Rondo's can be competitive if a coach creates that type of atmosphere in the activity
Creativity - Players can try things in these activities, this is a way to not only try things but to also gain confidence in new tricks or skills that a player may want to use on the field one day.
Tempo - Every heard a coach say "develop a rythym or "play with tempo"/ Rondo's can be a great tool to try and help players learn how to speed up or slow down play.
Possession - Possesion isn't everything but it is something... Having players develop the ability to keep the ball in small spaces is a part of being able to keep the ball in big spaces. Possession is a key part of playing our game Rondo's can emphasize that.
There are many other benefits to using Rondo's I hope that you will all be creative when using rondo's and really think about what you want out of these activities and put them to good use!