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Conditioning

Age Appropriate For High School & Collegiate Levels
Before Stretching Warm up
Medium Length Jog @ 50% speed increasing to 75% speed
Medium Length Shuttle in different directions
30-50 Jumping Jacks

Stretches
Stretching has two important roles. First, it lengthens the connective tissue, muscles, tendons and ligaments, just enough to reduce the chances of a tear upon quick movement. It also, is great at the end of a workout or when players are sore from conditioning because the act of stretching acts like squeezing out all the dirty water in a sponge and allowing clean water to replace it. The body builds up chemicals in the muscle tissue when exercising and stretching forces those bi-products of exercise out of the muscle and back into the blood stream where it is whisked away. It is then replaces with oxygen rich blood that is ready to fuel the muscle again.

Static Stretches should be done under the following conditions
  • Always hold stretch steady- no bouncing or rocking (could cause tearing)
  • Maintain good posture during stretch – neck neutral, back straight, shoulders back, knees locked but no hyper-extended.
  • Hold stretch for 20-30 seconds, release and do it again, trying to stretch further the second time.
Stretching should not be acutely painful. If a player is sore from conditioning it should be uncomfortable at first but feel better after stretching. School age kids tend to have quick growing spurts and often their muscles have not elongated adequately so flexibility will be poor. It is important to emphasis to those players who are least flexible that they are at highest risk of injury and should take stretching seriously.

Ballistic or Dynamic Stretching is stretching through movement. Studies show that doing ballistic stretching beyond a player’s regular range of motion, before warming up properly and/or before static stretching has been done, can actually increase the incidence of injury.

General dynamic/ballistic flexibility routine:
15 yard straight leg march
15 yard walking quad stretch
15 yard lateral low walk
10 basic body squats
15 yard walking knee hug
15 yard walking knee hug with knee twist inside
Loose arm swings opposite
Large and small arm circles forward/backward
Neck clocks (front-back, right ear-left ear)
Hip circles (feet together, circle clockwise and counter clockwise around feet)
Trunk Twist (feet together, lock in hips, twist shoulders/torso around hips)

On the Ground:
On Your Back Hamstring kicks (Right and Left, opposite heel tucked to butt)
On Your Back, Lateral leg kicks (right foot to left hand, left foot to right hand)
On Your Stomach, Lateral leg kicks (right heel to left hand, left heel to right hand)
On Your Stomach, “Supermans” – Opposite hand and foot

On all 4’s:
Knee circles forward (right and left)
Knee circles backward (right and left)
Hip Abduction (right and left)
Conditioning: Activities that strengthen muscles and increase endurance
Conditioning drills (strength and endurance based)


Legs
  • Walking lunges: stick held straight out in front of them parallel to the floor. One foot steps out at 12 o’clock from body and body lowers till both front and back knees are parallel to the floor. Front knee should remain over foot at all times.
  • Side Lunges: players leg angles to 2 o’clock from the body and lunge is completed
  • Squats: Lower body as if to sit on a chair, back straight as can hold (knees must remain over feet) hold position. Extra: have them go up onto toes after holding for a while
  • Foot Fire or Quick Feet: Rapid lifting and lowering of feet and moving front to back, right to left on command
  • Foot Fire with pivot: On command one foot drops back at an angle to complete a pivot, foot fire continues from there until next command
  • Ballistic Jumps: Player uses arms and bent knees to propel themselves up as high as they can. No running start.
  • Ballistic jump into squat: Same as ballistic jump, however player lands with cushioned knees and ends in a squat position.
  • Side to side jumping: feet together player uses calf muscles to zig-zag jump from side to side.
  • Air Kicks: Quickly and repeatedly kick out to the side or to the front, using a quick snap of the foot out and back. Repeat on command.
Shoulders
  • Push ups: MUST be done slowly (never as a speed drill) body remains completely flat and slowly lowers until elbows make a 90 degree angle. Then push back up.
  • Timed Stick hold: Have player hold stick out in front of them parallel to the floor and time how long they can hold this position.
  • Air punching bag: Act as though repeatedly punching a speed bag
  • Air Punch: Quickly and repeatedly throw a quick punch or cross-over punch on command
Abdominals
  • Ab Crunches: (Chin must remain off the chest during crunch) Do not pull or put force on back of neck while pulling up. Player tightens ab. muscles and lifts & lower shoulders off the floor.
  • Oblique Crunches: (Chin must remain off the chest) when crunch begins body twists to the right or left. Elbows cross center line of the body attempting to touch opposite knee.
  • Ab Pikes: Players body begins parallel to the floor on toes and on elbows; back flat abs tight. On command, player tightens abs and lifts butt up in air until forming a ^.
  • Partner Leg Throw-down: Player lies on the floor with partner standing behind him at his head. Player grabs partner’s ankles and holds tight. As he slowly lifts his feet (held together) off the floor and up, his partner throws them back down toward the floor. Player must stop them from hitting the floor at 4 inches.
Arms
  • Triceps Bench Dips: using bench or bleacher have player sit with arms at their side and hands on the edge of the bench. Lift body off the bench and out. Lower body down in front of the bench till elbows reach a 90 degree angle, slowly lift.
  • Grab Stick & Roll: Hold stick out in front of body till parallel with the floor. Alternating hands; repeatedly grab the stick hard and rotate it (roll) then use other hand to do the same. Grip hard!
Back
  • Superman’s: Player lays on the floor face down arms straight in front. On command he/she lifts both her back legs and both her arms off the floor and holds, creating an slight arch in the back
  • Alternating Superman’s: Same as above only this time the right leg and left arm come up then alternate to the left leg and right arm that lifts.
Other fun stuff
  • Hail to the Queens or Kings (that’s you coach): Player does a series of long walking lunges but brings his opposite hand down to touch the forward foot, on the way up the player uses that hand to salute the Queen/King (royal wave) J
  • Side shuffle, drop pivot, side shuffle, drop… zig-zagging across the field or gym player shuffles (no feet cross over)
  • Side run with Cross-over of feet: Player alternates crossing feet in front while propelling sideways down the floor. Foot crossover should alternate
  • Suicides: traditional or with alternating tasks (ie hopping first leg, skipping next, sprint, then crossover last etc.)
  • Crab walk tag
  • Freeze tag
  • Skipping races
  • Hopping or Leap frog




Age Appropriate for Middle School and Youth Levels
Before Stretching Warm up:
Medium Length Jog @ 50% speed increasing to 75% speed
Medium Length Shuttle in different directions
30-50 Jumping Jacks

Stretches
Stretching has two important roles. First, it lengthens the connective tissue, muscles, tendons and ligaments, just enough to reduce the chances of a tear upon quick movement. It also, is great at the end of a workout or when players are sore from conditioning because the act of stretching acts like squeezing out all the dirty water in a sponge and allowing clean water to replace it. The body builds up chemicals in the muscle tissue when exercising and stretching forces those bi-products of exercise out of the muscle and back into the blood stream where it is whisked away. It is then replaces with oxygen rich blood that is ready to fuel the muscle again.

Static Stretches should be done under the following conditions
  • Always hold stretch steady- no bouncing or rocking (could cause tearing)
  • Maintain good posture during stretch – neck neutral, back straight, shoulders back, knees locked but no hyper-extended.
  • Hold stretch for 20-30 seconds, release and do it again, trying to stretch further the second time.
Stretching should not be acutely painful. If a player is sore from conditioning it should be uncomfortable at first but feel better after stretching. School age kids tend to have quick growing spurts and often their muscles have not elongated adequately so flexibility will be poor. It is important to emphasis to those players who are least flexible that they are at highest risk of injury and should take stretching seriously.

Ballistic or Dynamic Stretching is stretching through movement: Studies show that doing ballistic stretching beyond a player’s regular range of motion, before warming up properly and/or before static stretching has been done, can actually increase the incidence of injury.


General dynamic/ballistic flexibility routine:
15 yard straight leg march
15 yard walking quad stretch
15 yard lateral low walk
10 basic body squats
15 yard walking knee hug
15 yard walking knee hug with knee twist inside
Loose arm swings opposite
Large and small arm circles forward/backward
Neck clocks (front-back, right ear-left ear)
Hip circles (feet together, circle clockwise and counter clockwise around feet)
Trunk Twist (feet together, lock in hips, twist shoulders/torso around hips)

On the Ground:
On Your Back Hamstring kicks (Right and Left, opposite heel tucked to butt)
On Your Back, Lateral leg kicks (right foot to left hand, left foot to right hand)
On Your Stomach, Lateral leg kicks (right heel to left hand, left heel to right hand)
On Your Stomach, “Supermans” – Opposite hand and foot

On all 4’s:
Knee circles forward (right and left)
Knee circles backward (right and left)
Hip Abduction (right and left)
Conditioning: Activities that strengthen muscles and increase endurance
Conditioning drills (strength and endurance based)

Legs
  • Walking lunges: stick held straight out in front of them parallel to the floor. One foot steps out at 12 o’clock from body and body lowers till both front and back knees are parallel to the floor. Front knee should remain over foot at all times.
  • Side Lunges: players leg angles to 2 o’clock from the body and lunge is completed
  • Squats: Lower body as if to sit on a chair, back straight as can hold (knees must remain over feet) hold position. Extra: have them go up onto toes after holding for a while
  • Foot Fire or Quick Feet: Rapid lifting and lowering of feet and moving front to back, right to left on command
  • Foot Fire with pivot: On command one foot drops back at an angle to complete a pivot, foot fire continues from there until next command
  • Ballistic Jumps: Player uses arms and bent knees to propel themselves up as high as they can. No running start.
  • Ballistic jump into squat: Same as ballistic jump, however player lands with cushioned knees and ends in a squat position.
  • Side to side jumping: feet together player uses calf muscles to zig-zag jump from side to side.
  • Air Kicks: Quickly and repeatedly kick out to the side or to the front, using a quick snap of the foot out and back. Repeat on command.
Shoulders
  • Push ups: MUST be done slowly (never as a speed drill) body remains completely flat and slowly lowers until elbows make a 90 degree angle. Then push back up.
  • Timed Stick hold: Have player hold stick out in front of them parallel to the floor and time how long they can hold this position.
  • Air punching bag: Act as though repeatedly punching a speed bag
  • Air Punch: Quickly and repeatedly throw a quick punch or cross-over punch on command
Abdominals
  • Ab Crunches: (Chin must remain off the chest during crunch) Do not pull or put force on back of neck while pulling up. Player tightens ab. muscles and lifts & lower shoulders off the floor.
  • Oblique Crunches: (Chin must remain off the chest) when crunch begins body twists to the right or left. Elbows cross center line of the body attempting to touch opposite knee.
  • Ab Pikes: Players body begins parallel to the floor on toes and on elbows; back flat abs tight. On command, player tightens abs and lifts butt up in air until forming a ^
  • Partner Leg Throw-down: Player lies on the floor with partner standing behind him at his head. Player grabs partner’s ankles and holds tight. As he slowly lifts his feet (held together) off the floor and up, his partner throws them back down toward the floor. Player must stop them from hitting the floor at 4 inches.
Arms
  • Triceps Bench Dips: using bench or bleacher have player sit with arms at their side and hands on the edge of the bench. Lift body off the bench and out. Lower body down in front of the bench till elbows reach a 90 degree angle, slowly lift.
  • Grab Stick & Roll: Hold stick out in front of body till parallel with the floor. Alternating hands; repeatedly grab the stick hard and rotate it (roll) then use other hand to do the same. Grip hard!
Back
  • Superman’s: Player lays on the floor face down arms straight in front. On command he/she lifts both her back legs and both her arms off the floor and holds, creating an slight arch in the back
  • Alternating Superman’s: Same as above only this time the right leg and left arm come up then alternate to the left leg and right arm that lifts.
Other fun stuff
  • Hail to the Queens or Kings (that’s you coach): Player does a series of long walking lunges but brings his opposite hand down to touch the forward foot, on the way up the player uses that hand to salute the Queen/King (royal wave) J
  • Side shuffle, drop pivot, side shuffle, drop… zig-zagging across the field or gym player shuffles (no feet cross over)
  • Side run with Cross-over of feet: Player alternates crossing feet in front while propelling sideways down the floor. Foot crossover should alternate
  • Suicides: traditional or with alternating tasks (ie hopping first leg, skipping next, sprint, then crossover last etc.)
  • Crab walk tag
  • Freeze tag
  • Skipping races
  • Hopping or Leap frog