No matter what sport your young athlete competes in, stamina will likely be a deciding factor in the outcome of the game.
Even if a young competitor has an eagle eye jump shot, if they get winded only after the second quarter, then their defense and scoring productivity will all suffer from low energy.
Stamina and endurance are hallmarks for athletes to overcome fatigue and contribute competitive play for more extended periods of time. Luckily these can be gained through training. Anyone with some desire and regular effort can build up stamina over time.
Here are some easy ways to boost game-day stamina:
1. Start with Steady Aerobic Workouts
Start safe with 15-minute aerobic workouts with a moderate cardio intensity.
A good gauge for intensity is if you are breathing hard but still able to talk.
Slow down the pace as needed and pick back up to original pace as recovery occurs.
Over a few sessions, they should be able to sustain the same pace for the entire session.
Once the athlete can stay active for 15 minutes straight, they can slowly increase the number of minutes they exercise at the same intensity as before.
Once the athlete can sustain 30 minutes of exercise, they can increase the workout intensity to the next level.
2. Add Circuit Training For The Next Step
After your athlete has mastered endurance for the 30-minute sessions, their stamina will plateau at that level.
To grow beyond that level, they will need a more significant challenge to increase their endurance.
Circuit training involves performing different exercises at specific workout stations for timed intervals with a 30 to 40 second rest period between each activity.
Circuit training is a great way to add some controlled cardio intensity and begin training different muscle groups for competition.
Have your athlete choose some of their favorite exercises that will help them compete in their sport.
Here are some workstations examples:
- Leg Lifts
- Jumping jacks
- Line Running Drills;
3. Mastering Competition Endurance and Intensity
Once your athlete has mastered workstation workouts for 30 minutes of exercise, they can grow to surpass competition levels of endurance and intensity.
Once an athlete can practice or train at higher levels of intensity than the actual game, they will be able to compete at peak intensity for the entire game with brief rests during timeouts.
Exercises that increase strength and accuracy in their particular sport will help them gain the best combination of skills and endurance at the same time.
To grow into competition league level of training, some athletes benefit from a strength coach or specialty camp where professional trainers coach and oversee specialized training for young athletes.
Remember to think safety first before and during new training workouts. It is always recommended to consult a physician and have a physical before beginning a new training regiment or starting a new sports season.