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#14887

Nice camera!  I shoot with Canon so I don’t have any Nikon strobes to test with, but I think there are a couple of options that could help, one costs money and the other is free.

Extra cost option:  I think Nikon makes an external battery pack you can plug into an SB9XX which drives the flash head, you still need batteries in the unit to run the electronics.  This gives more power, thus longer, battery life, while reducing recycle times.

Free option:  Your camera should be able to deliver decent, low noise photos at ISO 800 and possibly even higher ISO settings.  Figure out how high you can set ISO before noise becomes a problem.  If you can set it high enough, and the light in the gym is good enough, you may not need flash at all.  That would completely solve recycle times.  Even if you need some help from flash, if you bump ISO a stop from what you were using you should be able to reduce flash power by a stop, which will reduce recycle time.  If you can bump it two stops, you can reduce flash by two stops and get more benefit from reduced recycle times.

Boosting ISO also makes your flash reach further for the same output power, so if you need your flash to reach extra far, it is an option.