The weather is warm. Your friends are together, enjoying the outdoors—maybe at a cookout. But you need to become a better athlete, so you need to go to the gym and work out.
Spending time in the weight room and missing out on outdoor fun probably sounds pretty lame.
There is no true substitute for lifting weight. You need to do your best to schedule your training sessions so you can get your workouts in—and give your best effort—while still having time to enjoy your summer. However, there may be days when you simply can’t get to the weight room. Or maybe your gym is closed for a holiday.
But don’t fret; you can become a better athlete and have fun with your friends at the same time. Try one of these games, inspired by common backyard games, but designed to enhance sports performance.
A simple game of tag, but with a twist that builds upper-body strength and core stability.
- Have two people assume a Push-Up position.
- The goal is to tap your opponent’s hand.
- If your hand is tapped three times, you lose and have to do 10-15 Push-Ups.
- Repeat 4-5 times.
This game combines American football, basketball and tag.
- Divide into two teams, each at its own end of the playing area.
- One defensive player puts the ball in play [it can be a football or a basketball] by throwing it to the other team.
- When an athlete on offense catches the ball, he runs toward the opposing team’s trash can [goal] until he passes to a teammate or is tagged by an opponent.
- Once tagged, the athlete must stop, drop the ball and allow the opposing team to gain possession and try to score.
- A point is scored each time an athlete shoots the ball into the other team’s trash can without entering the safety area surrounding it. If an athlete enters the safety area, his team loses possession. If an athlete scores while in the area, a point is added to the opposing team’s total. Whenever a throw is intercepted or a point is scored, the defensive team goes on offense.
A non-contact version of boxing that improves agility, conditioning and hand-eye coordination.
- Set up 4 cones or water bottles in a 5×5-yard box to form an imaginary boxing ring.
- Have two people go in the “ring.” But rather than throw punches, attempt to tap each other on the shoulders, hips or knees.
- Keep moving the entire time and don’t flail around. Each tag should be precise and calculated.
- First player to 10 wins.
The game is similar to Keep Away. It increases aerobic conditioning, agility, reaction and teamwork.
- Form two teams. One team controls the ball, and the other attempts to stop it or steal it.
- At the whistle (or “go” signal), a five-minute clock starts and the ball is put in play. The team in control attempts to move the ball around the field without having it stolen by the opposing team.
- After a short time, someone throws a second ball into play.
- The team in control attempts to strike the second ball with the one already in play.
- Players must stay at least 6 feet away from the second ball.
- A point is scored when the ball is hit. The ball is then removed from the field, to be thrown in again later.
- The team with the most points wins.
It may sound easy, but this game gets super intense, forcing you to react quickly and stay on your feet.
- Inflate a balloon and stand about 8 yards away from your partners (as many as you like).
- Hit the balloon toward a partner, not straight up in the air.
- If the balloon touches the ground near you, you’re out.
- The last person standing wins.
The rules are similar to football. However, physical contact is limited, and the receiving athlete’s role is slightly modified.
- Form two teams and set up on different sides of the field. One team starts on offense, the other on defense.
- The game starts when a designated athlete on the defensive team puts the frisbee into play by throwing it to the offensive team’s side of the field.
- When an athlete on the offensive team catches or picks up the frisbee, he or she must remain stationary and throw it to a moving teammate. This is repeated until the frisbee is moved down the field and across the other team’s goal line—or intercepted by the other team.
- A point is scored each time an athlete catches the frisbee in the other team’s end zone.
- When a throw is intercepted, or after a point is scored, the defensive team goes on offense.