Sports can be a great activity to be a part of, whether as a player or as a coach. While playing a sport is fun, it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you or your athletes are not properly conditioned. In practically every sport, not having the stamina to continue playing will cost you. So, how can you make sure that you or your team has enough stamina to continue playing on the court or field? Below are some ideas on how to do just that.

Be Specific in Your Conditioning
Different sports require different types of stamina.

  • A marathoner’s training regimen would look different than a football player’s. The reason, besides the skill aspect of the sport, is that they are two very different types of activities.
  • A marathon requires a relatively low level of exertion sustained for a relatively long time. Football players typically require short bursts of very intense effort over the course of a game.
  • That being said, there is some evidence that suggests that high intensity intermittent exercise can improve both anaerobic and aerobic function.

Lifting Weights for Endurance and Stamina
Having a solid strength foundation will help you in practically all facets of life. By increasing your strength, you will almost always become a better sports player.

  • Some good ideas for weight training exercises would be the typical barbell exercises such as squats, bench press, deadlift, power clean and row.
  • Weightlifting can also tax different energy systems that will in turn increase your endurance and stamina.
  • Thus, weightlifting, particularly compound movements that use several different muscles at once, can be a very good way to increase your stamina.

Diversify Your Workout
While earlier it was stated that you should be specific in your conditioning, that does not mean that you cannot play different sports.

  • Playing a variety of sports can help develop coordination and agility that simply playing one sport would not develop.
  • There is a wide variety of sports to choose from when deciding to branch out. One such sport is racquetball, where you can burn up to 400 calories in 30 minutes.
  • Besides keeping you in constant motion, racquetball also helps train your brain, as the ball is coming in at all different angles.
  • If you prefer to play outside, ultimate frisbee can be a great option. It requires minimal equipment and includes sprinting, jumping, turning and catching, which can be helpful in other sports as well.

Diet and Nutrition
Your body cannot endure on its own energy reserves forever, and eventually it will need an energy source.

  • There are proper ways to fuel your body during a competition. Drinking the right amount, and not too much, is key in achieving peak performance.
  • The same is true for fueling your body with energy. While each person may be different, typically having complex carbohydrates in the form of liquid is one of the better options to fuel your body.
  • This is because liquid digests easier than solids, and complex carbohydrates are typically a better energy source for your body compared to simple carbohydrates.
  • Don’t forget to replenish electrolytes as well.

While sports are fun, having good stamina to keep going is required to reach you or your team’s full potential.  Hopefully, practicing the simple ways listed above, can help you increase your endurance.

For more information, visit Careworks.

Author:  Sarah Vidumsky, PA-C