What is aerobic activity? Any activity that strengthens your heart and cardiovascular system, so they can deliver more oxygen more efficiently to your working muscles.
Aerobic activity is a key part of youth basketball training.
When you engage in some type of exercise that taxes the large muscle groups of your body for more than 20 minutes, your body needs a lot of oxygen. Oxygen provides the energy your muscles need to do their work.
Studies indicate you need to do some type of cardiovascular activities at least 3-4 times a week for at least 30-45 minutes to increase your cardiovascular endurance.
While you're exercising, your heart pumps faster and you breathe more heavily in order to circulate the oxygen and nutrients through your blood to every cell in your body. By using more oxygen, your muscles can make and use more energy during exercise, and as a result, the muscles can work longer and harder.
So what is aerobic activity good for? Aerobic training helps build up endurance so players can stay on the court longer during a ball game.
Basketball is more than just endurance, though. It is also a game of sprints and short, explosive bursts that require an energy source besides oxygen. Anaerobic training helps improve this part of your game.
To play at your best on the basketball court, you have to be in excellent cardiovascular shape. You won't have much fun or success if you're exhausted. Even at the youngest levels, the kids who are in shape will have more opportunities to touch the ball and be involved in the game.
Look what happens when you start to get tired.
You see how your game suffers when you're tired?
Coach can't keep you in the game when you're exhausted. If you're in great shape, on the other hand, you're too valuable to take out of the game!
I'll be honest. As a player, I used to hate basketball conditioning drills. Man, they used to hurt!
But I was from the old school where the answer to "What is aerobic activity?" was Run, Run, Run! We put the basketballs down and ran until our tongues were dragging!
That was definitely one way to get us in shape, but as a coach, I have a whole different philosophy of basketball conditioning.
Remember, youth basketball training should be fun.
So, whenever possible, I try to come up with basketball conditioning drills that are either competitive games or drills that have some other purpose to them besides just running up and down the floor.
It's a lot more fun when players can work on their fundamental basketball skills and improve their cardiovascular conditioning at the same time. Plus, it makes it much more game-like. Basketball requires you to be able to shoot, pass, rebound, and defend while you're winded, so why not practice it?
So, in a nutshell, what is aerobic activity for a youth basketball player? It is the type of exercise that prepares you to play your hardest for an entire ball game without running out of gas.
It includes activities like jogging, riding your bike, swimming, running around with your dog, jump roping, hiking - anything that keeps your heart rate up at a good steady pace for at least 20 minutes.
When you're in good aerobic condition, you are able to play strong at the end of the ball game when your opponent is ready to quit!