Get sleepy heads ready to play

It’s one of the frustrations of being a coach that on training nights the girls and boys in the team are hyped up and buzzing so much that it takes all your energy to get them focused on training, yet come match day and the early morning sleepy heads are in need of an energy boost.

Warm ups or arrival activities are the best way to get fuzzy minds focused on the game ahead. Afterall you don’t want to be 3-0 down after 10 minutes before they wake up and react to the fact they are playing a game.

I have a lot of warm ups and arrival activities in my locker but here are some of my favourites that benefit different age groups.

One of the best warm-ups for eager younger players is Bib pull-away. It’s simple to set up and great for young players who have energy to harness. Plus, it focuses young minds on individual responsibility within a team.

One of my go-to warm-ups is One touch passing. It’s ideal on match day as it gets players moving the ball quickly and with purpose as soon as they get onto the pitch.

For a more elaborate warm-up, Chase the cones is a great problem-solving activity that will energise brains and bodies. I saw this game used by Real Madrid at a training session before an important game, so I know it works. Check it out because it’s good fun for older players.

Finally, for a focused goal-scoring session, Total finishing warm-up gets pairs of strikers to combine and create chances for each other in the penalty area. It is great for technique as well as the movement. Use this warm-up to make sure your strikers are switched on in the final third of the pitch.

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