Barca Keepaway

Objective: To improve your players’ core skills: Their ball control, passing/receiving, support play and ability to keep possession.

Age range: U7s to U15s.

Number of players: Eight.

Equipment required: Flat cones, training vests, one ball.

Set-up: Mark out a 15-yard square within an 18-yard square.

Divide your players into two teams.

How to play: One team (the passing team) plays in the smaller playing area. The other team (the defenders) wait outside the playing area in the larger square.

  • The game lasts for two minutes and begins with one defender entering the central playing area and trying to take the ball away from the passing team.
  • After 30 seconds, a second defender is added to make the game 4v2. Thirty seconds later, a third defender makes it 4v3 and finally the last defender enters to make it 4v4.
  • Feed in a new ball every time the ball leaves the playing area.
  • Count the number of successful passes the passing team makes in two minutes.
  • The passing team and the defending team swap roles and the game is played again.
  • The team that makes the most successful passes wins.

Coaching points: Encourage players to scan the playing area before receiving a pass.

Players’ first touch should be away from pressure.

Progression: The defending team is restricted to three, two or one touch of the ball.

For more soccer coaching tips and products visit Soccer Coaching Club.