What is a quatrain, you ask? It’s a four-line stanza with various rhyming schemes in poetry. A-B-A-C, A-B-C-B, A-C-B-A, you get the picture.

Quatrain shooting takes this basic poetic premise and turns it into a quick-thinking and fast-paced shooting drill. Once your players get into the rhythm, their shooting will become nothing short of lyric.

NFHCA Field Hockey Drill of the Week, Quatrain Shooting

Objective: Score goals while having to think about patterns and passing accuracy!

Set Up:

  • Split your team into three groups
  • Create three triangles within the 25-yard line, the top cone should be 7–10 yards from the bottom two cones
  • Position a player on each of the cones and have extra players form lines behind player A
  • Provide ball piles at each top cone

The Drill:

  • The beginning passing pattern is A-B-A-C
  • Have the farthest left triangle begin: player A passes to player B, player B passes to player A, player A passes to player C who dribbles into the circle and shoots
  • After the first triangle completes the final pass to the shooter, the next triangle can begin their passing pattern
  • After several rounds of the first passing pattern or a set amount of time, change the passing pattern to whatever you want (or ask a player to provide the pattern) — it should be at least two passes and each player should touch the ball once
  • Ensure that each player is spending time in each triangle to practice shots from a variety of angles

Points of Emphasis:

  • Quick passes which can be accomplished by passing and receiving the ball at the front foot with eyes up
  • Positioning the ball and body to take shots as soon as the ball crosses the circle edge
  • Know-your-exit — this drill can help players think a pass ahead, understanding where they want to go with the ball before they receive it
  • First touch — putting the ball in a position from the reception to efficiently enter the circle at speed with minimal touches


  • Add obstacles at the top of the circle to make shooting more of a challenge — the original challenge lies in going with speed into the circle, but feel free to add an extra dimension to the drill
  • Be creative! After your players begin to understand the drill or after you’ve done it several times, add a required lead from the shooter or a lifted pass into space for the shooter to run onto
  • Be cognizant of your goalkeeper! Make sure players are timing their passes and shots so that the goalkeeper is set and ready
  • Turn it into a competition — require players to stay in their triangle for a set amount of time and count who scores the most goals