Importance Of Warm Ups

March 14, 2019

It’s has always been a mystery as to why warm ups are so often overlooked, when they are in fact the building blocks of a successful match situation scenario – which is why we’ve compiled a list of our tips for warm ups. Gone are the days of a quick lap of half the pitch followed by pinging balls vaguely in the direction of the goal posts, so cast those thoughts far, far away. In the modern game, warming up is absolutely essential and can be the key difference between two sides come kick off. To warm up correctly is to prepare appropriately, just as failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Read on for our tips for warm ups…

Going into a match having barely raised your heartrate above resting is a recipe for injuries and a slow start to the fixture, as your body is not properly prepared for the test it is about to be put through. As your body temperature increases, your joints begin to loosen and blood starts to flow to your muscles which means less stress on your joints and other areas of body – a key to injury prevention.  In addition to the physical effects of a lack of warm, there’s the mental side to consider. A proper warm up will start to get your ‘head in the game’ and focus on the task at hand will increase and improve.

As well as our tips for warm ups, we’ve outlined five of our favourite warm ups here to get your team in the right frame of mind and get the heart pumping in time for kick off. Before that though, it’s important to consider some key points to ensure the warm ups are effective and not rushed.

Tips for Warm Ups

  • Organisation is key. Gather a group of coaches or parents to help with match prep – this could be anything from organising goal posts to laying out cones for the warm up. Make sure you’re ready in time for the children to arrive to make the most of the time you have together before kick-off.
  • Free yourself up to focus on the warm up. This sounds simple, but it’s staggering how many coaches will combine their morning coffee with a half-hearted attempt at a warm up. If you’re focused and ready, it will rub off on the players – don’t underestimate the benefits of leading by example.
  • Set time aside for the warm up. A warm up should be longer than ten minutes of striking balls, so make sure you arrange for the team to turn up ahead of time in order to get a full warm up in without rushing it.
  • Build up to the game. Start with gentle exercise to raise the heartrate, and up the intensity as you head towards kick off. For example, if the game is 5 a side, finish your warm up with a short 4v4 scenario to really put the players in the right frame of mind and have them peaking in time for kick off.
  • Set targets for the children. As well as a physical warm up, you should challenge your players mentally to encourage a greater level of focus on the game. Set basic targets for players to achieve appropriate to their skill level – this will help the children get more out of the game and come away having learnt something and with a desire to improve.
  • Include the substitutes. Setting targets and a full warm up aren’t just tasks for starting players – substitutes have a role that is just as important. Ask the substitutes to watch the game and look for the targets that have been set. This keeps them involved in the game and lets them add value from the side line.

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