Staying fit in the off-season is vital for players and coaches alike. Although the temptation might be to go on holiday and forget about fitness for a while, it's important to stay in good shape so that you're ready for pre-season training. MORE
Why You Need Good Warm-Ups Even At The End Of The Season
This is the time of year when players push themselves that little bit further in trying to end the season on a high and end up being injured. Quite often they have picked up an injury early in the season and have played through with it.
Proper warm-ups are one of the ways to make sure your players don’t get injured during the season. I like to use a lot of different ones with the teams I coach before training or when they are warming up for matches.
Injuries in young players can be very serious and if they are not rested, the injury can become worse.
I know this from experience – my own son went a whole season with a heel injury and because it got no rest, he spent the whole summer in pain. It was a “nothing injury”, or so it seemed at the time.
You will find that your players are so keen to play they will not tell you they are carrying injuries or that the doctor has told them to rest for a couple of weeks. They will not want to miss matches during the season, especially if you are on a winning run.
Heel injuries are quite common and I now know that a lot of them, my son’s included, are due to the high backs on soccer boots, that rub into the back of the heel causing pain. The cure is to make two cuts into the back of the heel of the boot to make the back of the boot less rigid.
It’s a great tip that someone gave me and works for both of my sons, and for a lot of the players in my team who have suffered from it. But I didn’t know about it the season he suffered the injury and really he should not have played.
You have to be careful when parents and children cover up injuries – they may not want to miss the all important match but they cannot play if they have been told to rest their injury. It’s hard for you if you do not know the extent of the injury as you have to rely on the parents. On one occasion one of my star attackers had hurt his ankle – playing rugby! He couldn’t play in a key game because he had been told to rest by the doctor.
The first game we played without him we were drawing 2-2. His dad came over and asked me if I wanted to put his son on. “He’ll be alright”, said his dad. The player himself was begging to be let on. I had to say no despite their protestations that we would lose without him. His well being comes above winning.