For fall sports, with weather cooling, keep practices inside fun

Fall leagues for football, flag football, baseball and soccer make for significant competition on already overcrowded community fields, forcing coaches to practice in parks or other small areas. In addition, cooling temperatures across areas like the northeast can sometimes warrant indoor sessions for young players.

Coaches in these situations sometimes get frustrated and opt to cancel practice rather than adjust to a different environment. However, there are some fun and easy ways to have a productive training session, even if you can't be on the diamond or practice soccer goals on the field.

One way to make the most of these practices is to frame them as workouts. Simple cardio, stretching and strength building exercises require little space, and athletes can always benefit from these activities. Whether your team is indoors or out, you can organize a great multi-faceted workout by setting up stations and having your players rotate through them.

Run a ten-minute warm up (or more, depending on your session time) to get players ready and follow with four to six sets of exercises. Push ups, jumping jacks or rope, crunches, lunges, stretching, ladder runs and jogging are great examples that require little to no equipment. Team leaders can also take some supplies from from the field, like marker discs and cones, and make good use of them in a gym.

Another option is to tailor these confined practices into precision skill-building workshops. Soccer coaches can use an indoor session to teach their athletes the finer points of ball control, while football players can hone their ability to pass with pinpoint accuracy.

By keeping it simple when you can't be on the field running game drills, coaches can capitalize on what many consider a less-than-ideal situation and benefit their players as a result.

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