14 Fun Partner Games

I’m always on the look out for new and interesting activities that can be introduced into a training session to keep things fun and fresh for my athletes.

During my last training session we tried out a few of the 14 activities from VigorGroundFitness.com in the warm up of my sessions. The group was made up of athletes between 9 and 15 years of age, and in general the response was positive.

What Worked?

  • The Bear Shoulder Tap game (from 41 seconds) was a massive hit for the teenagers (especially the boys). We were surprised at how quickly it was able to get the athlete’s heart rates up and there were a few comments about feeling it in the core. As a coaching cue keep the athlete’s knees of the ground to keep the intensity up. As with all core-intensive exercises, you will just need to be careful you’re not overloading the core muscles too much in the warm up, to the point where form breaks down during the main session.

  • The Animal Movement Mirror (from 1min55sec) was very popular with the younger athletes. We did a bit of a different version with one athlete leading the whole group, giving each athlete a chance. With the older guys we tried to give the leader a muscle group to focus on with mixed results, but it was interesting to see the athletes thinking about how different movements can test different muscle groups.

What Didn’t Work?

  • We couldn’t get the ‘Bear Foam Roller Connect’ (from 1min3sec) to work with any of our athletes and they seemed to lose interest in the activity quite quickly. There were also a few complaints about it causing a pain on their heads, so tread carefully with this one. It may have been a little too advanced for junior athletes and we would have been better off just sticking with the mirror activity, without the foam roller between the athletes.

  • The ‘Reactive Stick Drill’ (from 1sec) was mildly enjoyable, but the general consensus was that it wasn’t as enjoyable as the ‘Cone Grab’ activity that we play, which has the additional competition element (see page 5 here for an overview of our version).

Overall this video is definitely worth checking out and even if all the activities weren’t a hit with my group, the athletes appreciated the variety and we’ll definitely replay a couple of the games across the season. Check out the video from Luka Hocevar below.