How to Build Stamina for Football

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Football is a very grueling, high intensity sport. During a game, there is a lot of running, jumping, jogging, shifting and tackling. Not to mention, the whole time your body is being weighed down by pounds of equipment. If the game is being played outdoors, you have to to take into consideration other factors such as wind, rain, snow and temperature extremes. All of a sudden the uniform can become caked with sweat, water, mud and snow. Running then becomes even harder.

Things You'll Need

  • Ankle weights Weighted vest Gravity belt Strength suit (optional)
  • Add resistance to your body. To get yourself used to the added weight of equipment, walk around all day with added resistance. Wear ankle weights, a gravity belt, a weighted vest or a combination of the three. There is also a tool called a strength suit that comes with a vest and pants.

  • Do sprint drills. There is a lot of sprinting involved with football. Perform sprint drills while wearing the weighted vest or pants to add more resistance. Do a 5 to 10 minute warm-up, then perform a series of all out sprints separated with rest periods. Treat these just like reps with weight training. An easy way to do this is to double your rest periods. For example, sprint for 30 seconds and rest for 60 seconds.

  • Do weighted plyometric exercises. Plyometric exercises are characterized by fast, explosive movements. Perform exercises like box jumps, stair hops, one leg jumps and burpees. To do a burpee come into a squat position, place your hands on the floor, kick your legs back behind you, go into a pushup, then snap your feet back forward. Then do an explosive squat jump while reaching your arms high in the air as if you are signaling a touchdown.

  • Increase your aerobic capacity. Being that the game is long, you need to have a good aerobic capacity. Do long periods of aerobic training such as jogging, cycling, stair stepping, rowing or rope jumping. Rope jumping can strengthen your calves which will help to increase jumping ability.

  • Do shuttle runs. These need to be done on the football field. Start at the goal line, run out to the 10-yard line, touch the ground then run back. Keep going back and forth for a series of reps then rest. For a variation, do this same drill running backwards, as there is a lot of backpedaling in football.

  • Perform suicides. This is an exercise similar to shuttle runs but with a little more duration. Start at the goal line, run to the 10-yard line, touch the ground, then run back. Touch the goal line then run to the 20-yard line and come back. Keep going back and forth on every 10-yard mark until you get to the 50. Try to eventually go the whole length of the field.

  • Get proper rest. It is very important for the body to fully recover to perform optimally, especially with intense training. This is when your body regenerates and recovers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, adolescents and adults should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.

  • Stay hydrated. Whenever doing high intensity exercise, especially in the heat, make sure to stay well hydrated. This includes games, practices and training sessions. According to the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, high intensity physical activity in a warm environment is one of the greatest stresses the body could endure. It can lead to syncope, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear weight devices at all times. Just make sure you are able to perform optimally during your workouts with full range of motion. You might need to lessen the weight.

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