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  • Michele Jones

Conditioning Training - Yuck!

Do the words "conditioning training" have your team of young athletes groaning? That's not surprising. Most kids just want to play and have fun. Don't we all? Sometimes it's best to "sneak in" the conditioning training like we do when hiding vegetables in the macaroni and cheese. At your next training session, why not try some of these fun games to help increase strength, improve hand-eye coordination, or gain better speed and agility. Always start each session with a 5-10 minute warm up of light cardio and dynamic stretches. Don't forget the cool down afterwards and have fun!


SUITS

I like to use an over-sized deck of cards for this one, but a regular one works just as well. Assign an exercise to each suit, for example: Hearts - Jumping Jacks, Diamonds - Ice Skaters, Spades - High Knees, Clubs - Squats. Be sure to pick exercises the athletes have been properly trained to do. Jacks, Queens, and Kings of any suit represent Burpees. If your athletes cannot do proper Push Ups, then do a modified Burpee (Plank to Squat Jump). One athlete draws a card. The number on the card drawn is the number of exercises the athletes have to do. Aces = 11. You didn't really think we'd ever do just one of anything, did you? If the player draws a Jack, then that athlete does 10 Burpees, if the player draws a King, then he/she selects an athlete to do 10 Burpees. No picking the same athlete over and over again! If the player draws a Queen, the the trainer does 10 Burpees. I choose to do the Burpees if a Queen is drawn, since I'm a female trainer. Feel free to switch this to a King.


LADDER DRILL RELAY RACES

Line up 3-4 ladders for each team, having a team consist of 4-5 players. At each ladder the athlete must perform a different drill. Ladder 1 - Ins & Outs, Ladder 2 - 180 Degree Turns, Ladder 3 - Straight Hops, Ladder 4 - Carioca. You get the idea. Have the first athlete in each line perform the drills

Tug of War is another fun team game. Offense vs. Defense!

up and then back, tagging the next player in line on his/her team. On your mark. Get set. Go! The team that finishes first, wins! Another good SAQ drill that doesn't require any additional equipment is Red Light, Green Light.


REACTION BALL

Start with players in two teams, lines facing each other (2-3 per line). Give one player a tennis ball. The player rolls the ball to a player on the other team. The players continue to roll the ball back and forth with as little delay before each roll as possible. Each time a team doesn't catch the rolling ball, the other team gets a point.

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