Fitness Activities Which are Different, Interesting, and Relate to the Team Sport Unit by Using Skills and Equipment Pertaining to the Sport.
Dr. Peter Rattigan, Assistant Professor, Rowan University
Danielle DePinto, Andrea Stutzbach, Joey Knox, Brian Buglio, Students, Rowan University
The following activities were presented at the New Jersey AHPERD convention, February 10th, 2004. They are designed primarily for secondary (5-12) pupils and are intended as ideas which blend fitness and team sport skills in order to make fitness activities meaningful, relevant, varied and fun for the students. These activities help teachers achieve outcomes related to New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (revised) 2.1, 2.5 and 2.6. The emphasis is on the health related physical fitness components of cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and muscular strength.
A description of how to properly hold a stick and to correctly dribble the ball will be addressed.
Set up the gym with four rows of cones along the length of a basketball court. Equipment is given out to all of the pupils, one ball and one hockey stick. All four of the skills are done at a moderate to fast pace. The pupils will be separated into 4 groups. The groups consist of basic dribbling forward, reverse/basic dribbling with forward sprinting and then back peddling sprinting using correct form with the stick.
1st line: The pupil will be able to utilize the basic dribble forward only using the flat side of the stick. The basic dribbling will allow for the pupil to practice the technique and control along with receiving the cardiovascular benefits from the running. 2nd line: The pupil will continue to use the correct stick handling skills while back peddling to the opposite side of the gymnasium. 3rd line: After completing the task of dribbling, the pupils in the second line will sprint from one side of the gymnasium to the other utilizing correct stick handling skills at all times. 4th line: The pupil will then be practicing the basic dribble while incorporating the reverse dribble at the same time.
Have them do 3-5 intervals.
Hamstrings: pupils hold their stick in front of them with both hands and feet shoulder width apart. They will be holding the hockey stick with the proper grip while they stretch, and will also work on stick rotation while they are holding the stretch. They will stretch straight down and touch the stick to the ground or as far as it will go while working on stick rotation, stretching their hamstring muscles. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat.
Have pupils sit on the ground with their legs together and have them touch their toes while holding the stick with the proper grip. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds and repeat. Then have pupils sit with their legs apart and reach to each side and stretch. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds and repeat.
Quadriceps: pupils hold one leg behind at the ankle, and hold for 15 seconds on each side. Pupils may use the hockey stick for balance if they need to.
Side stretch: Legs shoulder width apart. Holding their sticks with both hands in the proper grip above their heads, have them stretch their upper body to one side. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat.
Lower back: have the pupils sit on the floor with one leg straight out, and the opposite crossed over it with the foot touching the ground. They will reach their opposite arm across the body touching the ground while holding the stick, and stretch their lower back. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat.
Triceps and back: Have pupils hold the toe of the stick and put it over their head and behind their back. Have pupils then grab the grip of the stick with their other hand and pull down. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds and then switch arms and repeat.
Upper body/wrists. Stick grip and rotation. Each pupil should have a stick. Have them rotate the stick 10 times in each hand. Next, air dribble with a ball and stick. Pupils will get a ball and then try to tap it on their stick 10 consecutive times. This activity also works on strengthening the pupils' wrists. Have them use both hands.
Abdominals: Partner crunches. Have pupils get with a partner and make sure they have one stick between the two of them. Have pupils lie down on the floor with their knees bent (sit-up position). Have Partner A hold the stick with proper grip and then perform a sit up/crunch while his/her partner (B) also performs a sit up/crunch and then receives the stick from partner A. Have pupils perform 15 sit ups/crunches each. Emphasize proper grip and have them do stick rotations while holding the stick.
Legs: Lunges. Pupils will line up and perform leg lunges while holding the field hockey stick with the proper grip. Pupils will do a lunge with one leg, trap the ball and then lunge with the other leg. They will continue to do this half way across the gym and then back to where they started. For each lunge step, practice forehand/ backhand ball trapping motion. Variation: add a jab tackle motion.
Soccer Jog: one ball each, or one between two, switch the ball off every half lap. Jog around the perimeter of a court or field, counter clockwise, dribbling the soccer ball. On a signal, stop and trap the ball. The ball must be trapped in 2 seconds or less (this makes them keep the ball under control). On a second signal, continue jog/dribble. Variations: add fakes; left foot only, right foot only, two footed dribble, etc. Continue for 3-5 minutes.
Partner pass and move: Divide a field or court into three "lanes" lengthwise with cones. One ball between two. Partners dribble forward, then pass off to each other, as they move up the first lane. At the end, they cross over to the third lane, and do the same coming back. Center lane is open for safety. Player on the right passes with right foot/instep, player on the left with the left foot. Emphasize controlling the ball ahead, looking up for partner before passing, and passing into the space ahead of advancing partner. Continue for 4-6 minutes.
Calves: Ball each. In personal space, hold a ball as in preparing for a throw in, with feet flat on the ground, in a staggered stance for 10 seconds. Switch feet and repeat.
Quadriceps: Soccer pose lunge. Ball each. Have players get into a lunge, with the ball under their hips, and one hand resting on it as if posing for an unusual soccer picture. Switch legs and repeat.
Hamstrings: Have pupils sit in a personal space with a ball each. Have them do a slow motion throw in, bringing the ball over their head (not letting go of the ball), and extending to a sit and reach position, hold for 10 seconds, and repeat.
Adductors: Side lunge soccer pose. Same as soccer pose lunge, but using side lunges.
Trunk: Over/under throw ins. In pairs. Player with the ball holds a back arch for 5 seconds in the throw in preparatory position, and throws in to their partner, exaggerating the follow through to between the knees.
Shoulders: Stretch n throw: In partners, have one partner throw the ball from behind the head, two handed, over and towards a partner, as in a throw in. Have the third partner pull gently on the ball from behind for 5 seconds, then release. Repeat three times and switch roles.
Upper: In pairs, one ball between two. Partners get into a push up position
with the ball between them. Have
them take turns doing push ups, heading the ball at the bottom of each
up. Emphasize forehead contact,
stiff neck, and looking at the ball.
Do 10 -15 total. Variation: have partners try to score a
goal by tapping the ball between their partners' hands - partners one
hand to stop it and then try to score on themselves.
Trunk: One ball between two. Perform bent knee curl ups with partners, holding the ball behind the head, and in throw in preparation position. Each person performs each curl up, and the player with the ball passes it to their partner with a short throw in action, two handed and over the head. Do 15-20 total. Variation: header the ball out of hands at the top of the sit up, over to partner.
Lower: Foot taps. Can be done with a ball each or sharing a ball between two. Place the sole of one foot lightly on top of the ball, the other foot on the ground. Switch foot position quickly, and continue to do this in rapid motion. Do 30-40 foot taps. Variation: tap both feet on ball, one after the other, then on the ground Ð very good for coordination also!
Have pupils form groups of three and form a triangle. Each group should have 2 softballs. Have the 2 pupils at the base of the triangle line up 15 feet away from each other and have one softball each. The pupil at the top of the triangle will be 15 feet away and face the other 2 pupils. The pupil at the top of the triangle will slide to the right. The pupil that is now directly across from him/her will roll the ball over to him/her. The pupil will then roll the ball back and slide to the other pupil. Do this 10 times on each side then rotate positions.
Have pupils find their own personal space. Pupils will then proceed to run in place. About every 30 seconds a pupil will yell out a softball term. All pupils will then assume that position. For example, pupils will run in place, ground ball is yelled out, pupils will then get into the position as if he/she were to field a ground ball. Once done correctly pupils will proceed to run in place. Other terms that can be yelled out are: throw, catch, bunt, and ready position. Those pupils who are to give a term will be designated before the exercise is started. Continue for 2 or more minutes.
This exercise is used for stretching the shoulders. Each pupil will need a bat. In his/her own personal space pupils will hold each end of the bat with the right and left hand above his/her head. Pupils will then bend one elbow behind the head and pull down on the bat with the other hand. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then switch to the other arm. Repeat the exercise 5 times for each arm.
This exercise is similar to the previous. Each pupil will need a bat. Hold the bat in front of the body with one hand at each end of the bat. This time instead of bending the elbow behind the head, keep the arms straight and pull the arm across the body while pulling on the bat with the other hand. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then switch to the other arm. Repeat the exercise 5 times for each arm.
This next exercise is used for stretching the abdomen and obliques. Each pupils will need a bat and find his/her own personal space. The bat will be placed behind the back just above the hips. Legs will be shoulder width apart. Pupils will hold the bat to the body with the elbows. Pupils will then twist to the right hold for 5 seconds and then twist to the left and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat, twisting to each side 10 times.
For this exercise pupils will find his/her own personal space and have a bat. The bat will be held above his/her head holding onto it with both hands. The pupils will then bend to the right hold for 5 seconds and bend to the left and hold for 5 seconds. This is continued until pupils have gone to each side 10 times.
This next exercise is used for stretching the leg muscles. Have pupils find their own personal space and have a softball. Pupils will stand in a straddle position. Pupils will bend and roll the ball in a figure eight going around both feet. A figure eight is done as follows: with the softball in the right hand, roll it in front of the right foot, around the back, through the legs, switch to the left hand, roll the ball in front of the left foot, around the back and through the legs. Repeat until pupils have done 5 figure eights.
For this exercise pupils will partner up and have one bat between them. Partners will find their personal space. The two will sit down with legs straight ahead touching feet with partner. Both partners will hold the bat horizontally at the feet. If this position cannot be held then hold the bat vertically. One partner will pull the bat towards his/herself and hold it for 5 seconds. The other partner will then do the same. Repeat so each partner pulls the bat 5 times.
Upper: Have pupils pair off with a partner and have one softball per pair. Have them get in the push up position facing each other 1 foot apart. Have them do push ups. Every time the pupil is in the up position of the push up one partner will pass the ball to his/her partner across from him/her. This will continue until both pupils have passed the ball 5 times each to each other.
Trunk: Pupils stay with the same partner and have one softball. Have the partners get in the sit up position about 5 feet away from each other. One person will have the softball. Have them do sit ups. Every time they come up for the sit up, the pupil with the softball will toss it over to his/her partner. Continue until both pupils have tossed the ball about 15 times. Focus in lower arm throwing action and catching with soft hands, reaching to the ball and bringing it in to the body.
Lower: Have pupils line up in equal lines, depending on numbers, on the base line of the gym. Each pupil should have a softball. The first pupil in each line will proceed to half court or the middle of the gym doing lunges. Every time they lunge, they should toss the softball up and catch it. Once the person ahead has done about 3 or 4 lunges the second pupil in each line may begin. Pupils will lunge from the base line to half court or middle of the gym.
Skill circuit: Set up each half court with 6 poly spots, in serve formation. Have a feeder at the center front position with a ball. Each player will move to each poly spot in counterclockwise pattern. Each player does the following skill and motor pattern at each spot: from behind baseline, do a serve action; move to first spot, touch the floor and get into forearm pass ready position; jog to second spot, approach, jump and spike imaginary ball; slide across net, jump and block (feeder can jump and reach up with ball, blocker can "block" it); run to next spot, turn and pass the feed from the feeder back to them (preferably overhead pass); back pedal to left back spot, touch floor and get into forearm pass ready position; run to middle back spot, jump and hit a back court spike, join the back of the line to begin again. The next person begins when the player in front spikes.
Volleyball "Jog": Set out poly spots in a serve receive pattern. Have players jog around the perimeter of a half court, counter clockwise. On approaching the net (2nd poly), make an approach, jump and hit. Slide across the net, jump and block from the middle front position (3rd poly), slide, jump and block from the left front position. Turn and jog around the perimeter (jog round the next two polys, come to middle back (6th) poly and do a floor touch and forearm pass, turn and jog back to the first poly). After a minute, change directionÐ now spike from left front with a left handed spike action. Continue for 2-3 minutes.
Calves: In personal space, hold a low overhead pass position, hands overhead in the shape of the ball, and feet flat on the ground, for 15 seconds
Quadriceps: Each pupil has a ball; have them place the ball between their heel and upper hamstring/gluteals. Pull up on the ankle. Have pupils find a space by a wall so they can use it for balance.
Hamstrings: Have pupils stand in a personal space with a ball each. Have them hold the ball with an overhead pass "grip", gently bend forward, and reach down, trying to touch the ball on the floor without bending their knees. They can try the same activity with legs crossed.
Adductors: In a personal space, no ball, have the pupils do side lunges and forearm pass an imaginary ball from alternating left and right sides. Emphasize getting low for a good stretch, and straight arms, hands together for the pass.
Trunk: Over/under and Side to side. Have pupils pair up, one ball between two. Have them stand back to back, about 2 feet apart (similar height partners work best.) Over/under: One player passes the ball under, between the knees, other player takes it and stretches up and back to pass it over to the first partner. Side/side: Keeping feet firmly planted, slowly twist round to left and right, passing the ball back and forward.
Shoulders: Stretch n throw: In partners, have one partner throw a yarn ball from behind the head, one handed, over and down towards the wall. Have their partners pull gently on the arm from behind for 5 seconds, then release, imitating overhead serve. Repeat three times on each arm and switch roles.
Crossover pull: Have partners face each other. One partner holds the ball with a cross grip, while the other pulls gently on the ball. Hold for 5 seconds and switch. Repeat 1-3 times, alternating which arm of the "stretchee" is uppermost.
Upper: Each pupil has a ball each and finds a wall space. Hold ball with overhead pass hand position: hold the ball against a wall, walk feet out, and do wall pushups, bringing the forehead to the ball. The further out the feet are, the more force needed Ð don't allow them to go to more than 45 degree angle to floor/wall. More difficult: do pushups with the ball on the floor.
Trunk: Pair up, one ball between two. Perform bent knee curl ups with partners, holding the volleyball above the forehead. Each person performs each curl up, and the player with the ball passes it to their partner with a short pass, extending the wrist and the arms.
Lower: Block jumps. Have pupils pair up and stand facing each other. On a count of 3, they jump high and do a "high 10", slapping palms together. Emphasize flexed wrist, thumbs touching and pressing action.
Spike jumps. Have everyone find a personal space. Alternate right handed and left handed jump and spikes. Each time they should angle the hitting shoulder away from an imaginary net prior to jumping. Combination: Have partners face each other, one spiker and one blocker. Have them spike and block an imaginary ball: make sure the blocker jumps after the spiker - this develops appropriate timing.
NOTE: Some of the above activities are similar - this enables students to transfer them across different team sports and creates efficiency through not always having to explain a new activity.
For team handball, many of the activities described for basketball, soccer, and field hockey may be done (note that there are some similarities and overlap in many of the activities described above. These similarities can help develop common movement skills while saving management/explanation time). A team handball jog could include simple jogging with a ball, bouncing the ball every three steps.
The team handball activities in the grids, which teach spatial and team strategy concepts and also can be a very good cardiovascular workout, are adapted from John Hichwa's book "Right Fielders Are People Too". After any of these grid activities have been introduced, they can later be used as a cardiovascular fitness activity, warm up, or opening activity, to get everyone moving with something that is hard work but exciting and fun.