Purpose:

To develop core and upper body strength.

Setup:

Athletes pair off, with one partner laying on the ground a foot or two in front of their partner. The partner standing up starts with the medicine ball.

Instructions:

  1. The athlete on the ground will lift their feet about a foot off the ground and lift their head and shoulders into the air as well.
  2. On the coach’s command, the partner with the ball will gently toss the medicine ball underhanded to their partner on the ground.
  3. The partner on the ground will catch the ball while doing their best to maintain their position, then immediately pass the ball back to their partner.
  4. As the standing partner tosses the ball, they will sidestep, moving in a semi-circle shape back and forth around their partner on the ground.
  5. Repeat for about 8 reps, then swap positions.

Coaching Tips:

  • The key to a strong core workout is challenging the core to respond to stressful situations without overdoing it or creating bad habits.
  • Encourage the standing partner to vary the speed and height of their throws to challenge their partner’s reaction time and core stability.
  • Remind the partner on the ground to focus on controlling their breathing, exhaling on the catch, and inhaling on the release.
  • Ensure the standing partner maintains proper form during their side steps, keeping their knees slightly bent and maintaining balance.
  • For added difficulty, the standing partner can incorporate a squat or lunge into their step around their partner, increasing the exercise intensity.

Tips for Younger Athletes:

  • Younger athletes should start with a lighter medicine ball to ensure proper form and prevent strain.
  • Focus on teaching the basic techniques of catching and throwing a medicine ball, emphasizing safety and control.
  • Encourage younger athletes to communicate with their partner, building teamwork and coordination skills.

Tips for Older Athletes:

  • Older athletes can use a heavier medicine ball to increase the challenge and further develop core strength.
  • Introduce variations in the drill, such as changing the direction of the walkaround or incorporating additional movements like hops or jumps.
  • Stress the importance of maintaining a tight core throughout the drill to maximize benefits and prevent injury.