The July Fourth weekend means good times with friends and family, barbeques and fireworks. Your top priority may not be hitting the gym for an intense training session [if your gym is even open], but that doesn't mean you can't improve your athleticism. The following games, developed by strength and conditioning coaches, are both fun and beneficial to your summer training goals.
This game is a combination of 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's side.
- 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 square, a point is added to the opposing team's total. If a throw is intercepted or a point is scored, the defensive team goes on offense.
Players take turns being the thrower or one of the catchers.
- The thrower tosses the playing cards toward the catchers, one at a time.
- Each card has a different flight pattern, forcing the catchers to move in multiple directions.
- The catchers try to grab as many of the 52 cards as possible.
The game is played like tag, except everyone is "It."
- Athletes spread out randomly over a playing area and await the whistle or "go" signal.
- The object of the game is to tag as many players as possible without getting tagged yourself. When an athlete gets tagged, he or she must immediately drop to the ground and perform five Push-Ups before rejoining the game.
- If a dispute arises about which athlete was tagged first, both athletes must perform Push-Ups.
The game is similar to "keep away." The object is to score points by hitting one ball with another.
- 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 the 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 six 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.
For more fun games that improve performance, along with full eight-week workout plans, go to STACK's 4th Annual Summer Training Guide at summer.stack.com.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock