7 Teaching Points for Shuttle Relays

Shuttle Relay Teaching Points and Common Faults

A shuttle relay is a relay race which is run back and forth over a straight course. Each participating team is divided in half, with team members positioned at each end of the course or “track”.

When used in an track & field setting, the runners will usually carry a relay baton.

Shuttle relays can be run over any distance. They are most commonly run over short distances of 10-50 metres when involving young athletes, depending on the age of those involved.

Shuttle Relay Teaching Points

  1. All runners use a normal running action while carrying the baton.
  2. Runners carry the baton at the bottom end.
  3.  To pass the baton, the incoming runner holds the baton vertically with an extended arm when nearing the receiving runner.
  4. The incoming runner approaches slightly to the side of the receiving runner to avoid interference/collisions or having to slow down.
  5. The receiving runner waits for the incoming runner with their feet in a standing start “Set” position and with their hands ready to accept the baton.
  6. The baton is received with the arms extended at chest height (not in front of the face, to avoid injury).
  7. The hands are held together, slightly overlapping in a “butterfly” position (thumbs in, palms facing forwards, fingers extended outwards. (The thumbs should not be linked).

Relay Batons - Blog Photo

Shuttle Relay Common Faults

Watch for athletes who:

  • Hold the middle section of the baton while running with it.
  • Run the whole way with the arm holding the baton extended towards the receiver (common with very young athletes).
  • As the incoming runner, run directly at the receiving running, blocking their way.
  • Stand waiting for the baton with feet parallel (not in a “ready” stance).
  • Attempt to receive the baton with one hand only, or with hands apart.
  • Link their thumbs together when holding their hands in the “butterfly” position.

Can you add to either of the above lists?

Share any other teaching points or common faults that you are aware of by leaving a reply/comment or by using the below contact details.

If this post helped you please take a moment to help others by sharing it on social media. If you want to learn more I encourage you to leave questions and comments or contact me directly.

Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes, and founder of the blog coachingyoungathletes.com. Learn more about him here and connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedin, or via email. Check out Coaching Young Athletes on YouTube, the Coaching Young Athletes podcast, and the Coaching Young Athletes E-Book Series.

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