The soccer “rondo,” 5 v 2, 4 v 1, etc. is where technique and skill, teamwork, competition, problem solving, and competitiveness all come together. It is where players learn to bring the ball across the body to make the right pass and decide whether the pass should be one touch or two. It has also become the start off point for many soccer practices to start their progressions. But do coaches focus enough on the defensives aspect of this game? I mean, nobody wants to be embarrassed for staying too long in the middle, right? So, I want goalkeepers and coaches that integrate the rondo into the practice to incorporate goalkeeper techniques that can help all soccer players who find themselves in the middle of the rondo.
When we at Just 4 Keepers Washington play rondo, just like at any field player practice, we start with the feet. However, being that playing goalie requires added skills that focus on principles of defense as well, goalkeeper coaches will focus on the defensive principle of “delay” primarily, due to the fact that a goalie will inevitably find themselves in a 1 v 1 situation where they must delay and mirror an attacker. To master the rondo it’s just as important for field players to incorporate this technique as well. Of course, when the time comes every player in the middle may have to pounce as well. In the goalkeeper training an added dimension of having the goalkeeper only use the hands to defend also help create the correct “stalking stance” that all goalkeepers us when faced with 1 v 1.
Something to consider for goalkeeper training session is then, “The Goalkeeper Rondo,” where the goalkeeper has to focus on 1 v 1 technique such as, “stalk, mirror, and pounce” with coaching points of keeping the feet close together, hands low and palms forward, knees bent, patience, and not crossing the feet when moving.