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. Partner standing up starts with the medicine ball.

Medicine Ball Catching Drill: Athlete receiving pass from their teammate while maintaining position.

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. Repeat for about 8 reps, then swap positions.

Coaching Tips:

  • The core is not just the abdominal, its the entire torso, all the way up to the shoulders and around the back. By developing our core strength, we ensure that when the force we create from our legs makes its way up to our upper body, it isnt lost because we are staying tight and efficient.
  • For a variation on this drill, have the athlete on the ground bend their knees slightly with their feet in the air – this will isolate the hip flexors and abdominals.

Tips for Younger Athletes:

  • For younger athletes, focus on the basics of engaging the core. Teach them how to activate their abdominal muscles and maintain a stable position during the drill.
  • Start with a lighter medicine ball and fewer reps to help younger athletes build endurance and strength gradually. This approach helps in avoiding strain and injury.
  • Encourage and praise their efforts. Recognizing their hard work and improvements will boost their confidence and enthusiasm for the drill.

Tips for Older Athletes:

  • Challenge older athletes by increasing the weight of the medicine ball or the number of repetitions. This intensifies the workout and further strengthens the core.
  • Incorporate different positions, such as having the athlete on the ground raise their legs higher or add a twist when catching the ball to engage different core muscle groups.
  • For older, more experienced athletes, add an element of balance, like balancing on one leg for the standing partner, to enhance the overall effectiveness of the drill and engage more stabilizing muscles.