I pulled a muscle by not warming up

I keep fit pretty much all year round due to being outside coaching most of the time. And with the enforced lay off in the UK due to the coronavirus pandemic I’ve been keeping myself fit in other ways. However, being fit and having muscles ready to play sport is an altogether different proposition.

So I take my kids down to the local football pitch and I try and hit a worldy with my first shot. Whoa something went ping in my upper thigh. And that was the end of the game as I couldn’t move my leg without it hurting. I should have warmed up and gently eased into the action of shooting before I tried to burst the net.

It brought home to me that however fit you are you need to look after your muscles that you use in sport and give them a good stretch before you begin to play in earnest.

Of course now I need to rest the muscle which I wouldn’t have had to do if I had been more careful and warmed up.

It is the same for your players, they need simple games like Rondos or a passing and moving game to get limbs ready for combat. Try the sessions below with your players to get them in shape for playing games or training – and that will help to cut out the injuries.

You can work on these activities and look out for more on the website.

Warm ups with a ball should be the thing you do just before the game starts but you can do other types of games when the players first get to a game or to training. Bib pull away is a good way to start and you don’t need to spend any time explaining the game – it is always great to get under way with a brisk run around.

Once you’ve got them running around let them have a drink when you can quickly explain the next warm up that will gear them up for the session you are coaching or the match they are taking part in. If you’re planning a session on pressing or you want them to press in a match Centre Circle Sorcery is one of the best ways to do this with plenty of pressing and tackling and movement off the ball. While Pass and Sprint is good for a possession based game.

You can get brains into gear on a cold morning by using Chase the Cones it makes players think about how they can complete the session before their best friends do.

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