Prepare to warm-up

With the MLS season a couple of weeks away coaches will be working on lots of warm up ideas that help players get their bodies ready for playing in competitive matches again.

All your players will have seen matches with substitutes jogging and sprinting along the touchline or following the action while performing a stretching exercise or two.

They never look like they are putting much effort into doing the stretches and jogging but experts are agreed that the pre-match warm-up plays a vital part in enhancing player performance and reducing the risk of injury.

Make sure you have some different warm-ups to try with your players, like these four favourites of mine.

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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