6v4 Rondo [Complete Guide with Variations]

6v4 rondo is the soccer drill where 6 players are in possession and 4 players are defenders, trying to recover the ball. It is a natural progression from the 4v2 rondo and can be combined into a single drill. By creating real game-like scenarios, the 6v4 is a perfect balance to explore dominating possession while having numerical superiority. With increased complexity, players develop scanning and awareness abilities to a greater extent, the 6v4 rondos are great soccer drills to elevate your possession-based soccer players to the next level.

The 6v4 rondo is used by professional coaches at the highest level, such as Guardiola, Klopp, and Mourinho. However, it is simple enough to start as early as U10 level with at least 6 months experience of practicing rondos. I like to make sure the players can do comfortable 4v2 rondos for several months. This means that they should often be able to keep possession with 10 passes. This means that the principles of receiving the ball with their backfoot, moving with their first touch, and opening up to receive the ball. If the success of 4v2 is because of low defensive intensity or extensive playing area, that doesn’t count. The rondos are practiced with specific objectives in mind, both for the 4v2 and 6v4.

Why do the 6v4 rondo?

When designing soccer drills, we want them to be game-like, challenging, and used as building blocks. Clearly, 6v4 rondos include 10 to 12 players, so it is more complex than others. In the complexity, it is somewhere in the middle. Definitely more elaborate with prerequisites than 4v2, but it is not as complicated as some positional play drills we can do. In fact, it doesn’t have isolated practice, so it should be combined with individual drills. We will get into variations of the rondos and as we go through them, we will figure out what they will address.

6v4 Rondo – Positional (10 players)

6v4 Positional Rondo
6v4 Rondo

This is the first block of 6v4 rondo. I split the playing area into two halves and have 3v2 in each of them. Now, that means only one passing option within the area and one when passing to the other area. That way the players are not overwhelmed by too many defenders. Of course, once they become proficient in this, you can allow them to move freely between the two sides. Eventually, you want the team in possession to understand this well enough that they will spread out and use all available space. However, you need to guide them, because just telling them that will not be sufficient. I usually do about 4 sessions before moving on to the next one. However, I keep coming back again to this with some tweaks if I need to target some aspects. For example, it can look like playing from the back and starting from the goalie.

6v4 Positional Rondo

4v2 -> 6v4 Transition Rondo (10 players)

4v2 to 6v4 Transition Rondo
4v2 to 6v4 Transition Rondo

This is probably my favorite rondo, as it really teaches everything! Soccer is all about retaining possession and recovering possession. The fluidity between attack and defense is unlike many other sports. In basketball or handball, you need to get to the other side of the field. Volleyball players can either spike (attack) or block (defend). In baseball and American football, all players leave the fields and others come back when possession changes. In contrast, soccer players constantly switch between playing attack and defense. The standard 4v2 rondo doesn’t do that – once a defender intercepts the ball, the game stops. So, all of a sudden we have a behavior different than the game. How do we fix that?

We start with a 4v2 rondo and we put 4 additional players on the outside. The two defenders should not just blast the ball outside, but get the ball to those 4 additional players and they become a 6-person team. This is a much more game-like scenario. Once you recover the ball, you need to retain it. If the 4 defenders intercept the ball, immediately they switch to 4v2 – the 4 outside players don’t play defense. In addition to immediately switching between defense and attack, we get lots of off-the-ball movement. The outside players will move a lot while not having the ball in their possession. This will increase their anticipation skill. This means that they will not be part of the defensive press, but they will need to be patiently waiting for their opportunity and position themselves to take advantage. That creates a much better game-like scenario.

6v4 two teams (12 players)

6v4 Two Teams Rondo

Assuming the players are proficient in 6v4 positional rondo and you have 12 players, you can really make a game of it. Put 4 players from each team in the middle. Then the team in possession gets two players on either flank. If they lose the ball, the other team gets two players instead of the two other sides. Once players already know the basic 6v4 rondo, they will get this one quickly. If you have 12 players that can practice at a similar level, this is a perfect game. Of course, you would want to rotate the inner and the outer players over time.


Now that we’ve gone through the variations of 6v4 rondo, I hope you will fall in love with it, as I have. It creates so many game-like situations with overloads, that a good coach can always find things to teach. From ball retention, team pressing, scanning, and quick transition – everything is here for you to coach. If you have a team that you have just started coaching, this should be your end goal. If they can play 6v4 rondo, everything else is doable. Have fun coaching!


No Opponents Rondo

Introduction to rondos with 3v0 and 4v0. Coaching passing, receiving, and the concept of “backfoot”.

First opponent

Introduce an opponent in the rondo. Create the need to move off the ball and think of passing lanes.

Increase intensity

Limit one passing option, and improve decision-making. Put pass-and-go into practice. Introduce a transition rondo to 5v3.

Increase complexity

Introduce team pressing of two players. Coach the central midfielder for the first time.

Pro Rondo

The rondo that pros play. Teaching to split the opponents with the right weight of the pass.

Positional play

All variations of the complex rondos before transitioning into positional play and game scenarios.