Shuttle passing

Set up

Separate your players into groups of three.

end player……………cone……cone……………..end player

The two end players should be directly across from each other and approximately 20 yards apart. A third player (or third and fourth players) should be in the middle standing between two marker cones. Each of the end players should have a football at their feet.

note: you can have one or more groups of four by having two players in the middle or rotating a fourth player into a group of three.


When the coach gives the command, the player(s) in the middle must run towards an end player, calling for the ball and showing herself. The end player passes the ball to the middle player’s feet. The middle player controls it and passes it back. As soon as the player in the middle passes the ball back she must turn and run towards the other end player. No stopping to admire the pass! The middle player(s) should be calling for the ball when they get about ten feet from the other end player. Again, they receive/return a pass, turn and run.

The middle player must continue running back and forth, receiving and passing balls. She should be running at pace and trying to maintain good speed and quality touches throughout the entire drill. Do not tolerate technical mistakes as players get tired.

When thirty seconds or so is up, the middle player switches with one of the end players and recovers. Continue this drill until all three players have been the middle person.

Make it competitive by seeing which group can complete the most passes in one minute.

What to look for

Quality passing, quick turns and hard work. The middle player will be tired towards the end of their session and will have to focus hard on making good quality passes. Applaud their efforts.


1. To increase the difficulty of this drill make the middle person use only one touch. This way she must concentrate even more.

2. Have the end players toss the balls into the middle person. The middle person can either bring the ball down to his/her feet or directly volley pass the ball back to their teammate.

3. Using one ball, the middle player shows for a pass from an end player, turns with the ball, runs back to the centre (marked out with two cones) passes to the other end player, continues the run, gets the return, takes the ball back to the middle and so on. It’s hard work but very good for fitness and improving basic ball skills.

Practice heading – the end players throw the ball to middle player who sprints to the ball, jumps to head it back to the server, turns, sprints to the other server. Servers should throw to allow middle player to sprint 15-20 yards between each header.