Soccer Passing Carousel

Soccer passing carousel swings the ball from one side of the soccer field to the other in quick succession: What’s one rule you often hear in soccer? It’s probably keep the ball moving. Or, let the ball do the work. This is what former Manchester United manager said about playing against Barcelona’s passing machine:

“They get you on that carousel and they make you dizzy with their passing,” was the image Sir Alex Ferguson conjured before the 2009 final.

Field size: 30 yards by 20 yards

Number of players: Setup two lines of six or seven players with one ball; split into two different teams of eight players if you want your players to get more touches on the ball. Soccer passing carousel start out moving the ball slowly and then increase speed.

Age range: 12-14

Description: Players pass the ball and then run backwards into the line behind them.  So it’s pass and then run backwards to the end of the line you just started in.  Quick inside of the foot passes about ten yards in length.

Also, players can try to do this with ball in the air, juggling the ball or with the head.  This is a continuous drill where players don’t stop.  As players get comfortable with the drill, use each type of pass: inside, outside, instep, and with both feet and always with one touch.

Alex Ferguson called Barcelona’s style of play the ‘passing carousel’, since they keep shifting the ball from one side of the field the other or from one player to the other. In this drill the players are working on playing the ball sharply with one touch and moving the ball quickly, which is Barcelona does.

If the you’re doing this drill in the air, then all the players try to keep the ball up with the inside of their foot, so each pass has to be precise and easy for the next player to keep up in the air.

However, the main focus of this drill should be sharp passes on the ground, and only moving to the air when player’s fundamentals are sound.  One thing playing in the air will do though, is test the players, and show them how easy it should be to play the ball on the ground compared to in the air. It will give them something to strive for.

Equipment needed: Can use cones to set up the two lines and practice vests if you want to split into two teams, but really, not equipment is needed, just a soccer ball.

Another great soccer passing drill: Passing Triangle with central passer.