Shuttle passing soccer drill

This is a passing, receiving and conditioning soccer drill for groups of three or four players. Shuttle passing can also be used to practise heading and a variety of other ball skills.


Set up the drill

  • Separate your players into groups of three. Stand two players about 20 yards apart and the third should be in the middle, standing between two marker cones. Each of the end players has a ball at their feet. (You can have groups of four by having two players in the middle.)

  • On your command, the player in the middle runs towards an end player, calling for the ball. 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 middle player passes the ball back, he turns and runs towards the other end player to repeat the process. (No stopping to admire the pass!)

The middle player should be calling for the ball when they get about three yards from the other end player. Again, they receive and return a pass, turn and run.

The middle player should be running at pace and trying to maintain good speed and quality touches throughout the entire soccer drill. Be ready to correct technical mistakes, especially as players get tired.

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

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

You should be looking for quality passing skills, quick turns and hard work. The middle player will be tired towards the end of his drill and will have to focus hard on making good quality passes. Applaud his efforts.

Develop the drill

1. To increase the difficulty of this soccer (football) drill, make the middle person use only one touch, increasing the need for concentration.

2. Get the end players to throw the balls into the middle person, forcing them to make more effort at control. The middle person can either bring the ball down to his feet or directly volley pass the ball back to a team mate.

3. Using one ball, the middle player receives a pass from an end player, turns with the ball, runs back to the cones in the middle, passes to the other end player, continues the run, gets the return, takes the ball back to the middle and so on. This soccer drill is hard work, but very good for fitness and improving basic ball control skills.

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