paul rabil van city lax

Figure “8” Passing and Catching Drills

We got these great 3-man passing and catching drills from Paul Rabil's high school coach at DeMatha (Md.) a few years ago. They are great for getting extra touches on the ball and great conditioning for the man in the middle!

Small groups are a great way to get every player in the drill more often, getting more time to build muscle memory for catching, throwing, and picking up ground balls. All your drills and games should keep your players active, engaged and moving, instead of standing in a long line, waiting for their turn.

Even though there only one player in the middle is running "Figure 8's" while catching and throwing, both of the outside players are still catching and throwing back and forth, so they get extra reps too.

These drills are so simple and so effective. The best part about Figure 8's is that your players will be completing a pass just about once every second!


figure 8 passing catching line drills

Figure 1.) Start your players in groups of 3, spaced out in a line 15-20 yards apart from each other. Blue 1 starts in the middle of each line with a ball, and passes to Blue 2 to start the drill.

You can put your players 20-30 yards apart if you want to emphasize longer passes, or to make this more of a conditioning challenge, forcing them to run more.

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  • All your players need to learn how to catch and throw with both hands and both sides.
  • Make it a competition: Keep time and try keeping score to add some intensity. See which group of 3 can get the most catches and throws in each 1- to 2-minute rep.
  • Emphasize "change of speed and direction" with your players as they run their Figure 8's around the two outside guys. There are times to speed up and times to slow down.


Leave us a comment and tell us if you get some great work out of your team using Figure 8's.