Passing Combinations in Threes

By Alex Trukan

This continuous passing pattern exercise is an engaging way to develop anaerobic endurance along with technical skills of passing. It is especially suitable for medium and advanced level players as in order to achieve physical objectives, it requires constant concentration and high intensity technical work. Once the players learned the rhythm of the practice, it is highly effective method of achieving specific fitness goals.

Set-Up and Directions

Set up four cones 10-15 yards apart and one in the middle. Organise three players as shown on the diagram below. One player on a bottom left cone has a ball. For a larger groups of players, organise separate squares to work in.


The exercise starts with a bottom left player passing the ball to the middle player who then passes it with one touch to the top left cone. A player who started on a bottom left cone, runs to the top left cone after the pass.


After the ball and a player reach the top left cone, the ball should be passed to the player on the top right cone.


The next step involves passing the ball to the middle player who then plays it one touch to the bottom right cone. A player that started on the top right cone runs to the bottom right cone and a player from a top left cone runs back to his starting position.


The last stage is a pass back to the starting position, a player on the bottom left cone. The exercise starts again and continues for a set amount of time.

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The exercise should be continued 1-2 minutes in 6-10 repetitions. That should be repeated in 2 series. It is recommended to make 1-3 minutes rest between repetitions and 4 minutes between series.


  • All players on two-touches/one-touch
  • Two players taking turns on each cone
  • Different passing combinations


By Alex Trukan, Development Coach, Nottingham Forest

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