By Matthew Carroll
The Breakout Rondo activity is a warm-up drill in which players focus on that moment of transition from a defensive posture to an offensive one. The speed of transition forces players to remain focused at all times and find/defend passing lanes in tight space.
Players form a rondo circle (5-8 players) with 1 player in the center. For every player on the inside another player stands 5 feet behind them, creating a larger outer circle.
The Breakout Rondo activity starts as a regular rondo with the rondo circle players passing among themselves, and the single defensive player in the middle attempting to win the ball back. When the single player is able to retrieve the ball their goal is to pass to one of their teammates on the outer circle.
If they complete their pass to the outer circle player, the player in the inner circle that was in front of the outer circle player is now in the middle of the rondo, the passer moves to the outer circle, and the outer circle moves into the inner circle. In doing so the defender in the middle must quickly transition from a defensive player to an offensive player seeking a pass to breakout out of the press.
The inner circle players transition from offensive to a defensive posture blocking passing lanes and opening their bodies up to get in position to check their shoulders to see both the ball and their assigned outer circle player. The outer circle players must transition from a defensive cover position to an offensive posture where they will need to receive a pass that breaks the inner circles lines.
Variations can be made to the number of players in the middle so that the players in the center of the rondo collaborate in breaking the press.
To add complexity to the two player variation additional passing patterns can be added such as the outer circle player who received the pass must then play to another outer circle player, and then both players involved go into the inner circle, both inner circle players go to the center of the rondo, and both defenders go to the outer circle.
By Matthew Carroll