Top 3 Basic Conditioning Workouts For All Athletes

Former New Mexico Lobos & Georgetown Hoyas Player Gives Top 3 Football Conditioning Workouts for Youth Players

Youth football workouts must contain several components. You have to make the most out of the limited time that you have with the kids, all while being conscious of player safety. Football workouts for youth should consist of strength training, cardio conditioning, and agility training.  This is in addition to position-specific drills and training to better prepare the kids for gameday.  Below are few tips on different football workouts for youth players. 

Shuttle Runs

If you ever played football yourself, you probably did the shuttle run.  The shuttle run trains players to change speed and direction, which is extremely important for football.  Players must line up along one line, run full speed for 10 yards, stop, turn and run full speed back to the starting point.  The players are to repeat the exercise, but the second time they must run 20-yards.  They must run full speed for 20 yards, stop, turn and run full speed back to the starting point.  After the 20-yard shuttle, repeat this exercise again, but run 30 yards and back.  Set the pace and distance according to the age group - younger players should naturally run shorter distances.  You can also use cones or markers to outline the distances.

Body Weight Training

Body weight exercises are fantastic for youth players at all age divisions. These exercises do not require any equipment at all.  Planks, situps, crunches, pushups, and pullups are all great for kids. Also exercises such as bear crawls, mountain climbers and burpees help develop both upper body and lower body strength and are perfect for youth players that are ages 9 or older. 

Agility Drills

Agility drills will help the kids develop body control, footwork and other key motor skills that are essential to playing football.  You can use both cone drills and agility ladders to develop agility skills. For the ladder drills, you can line the youth players up and make them run through the ladder while making sure that each foot steps into each ladder box.  You can also make them jump hop scotch through the ladder boxes.   For the cone drills, you can set them up in a zig-zag patter with about 1-yard distance between each cone, and make the players run through the cone course in a back and forth pattern.

Player Safety

Focus on technique and ensure that players are moving in a proper fashion to reduce injury.  Teach the fundamentals and purpose for each exercise and cap the exercise at the proper duration to prevent injury and extreme fatigue.  Be sure to express the importance of hydration while making sure that the players are drinking enough fluids before and during the exercises.  Be on the lookout for all signs of injury, dehydration and extreme fatigue to ensure player safety.