EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Soccer coaching tips for better warm up drills

Why is it crucial for your players to warm up properly and what should be included in your soccer warm-up drills?

The main purpose of getting your players to work on their warm-up soccer drills is to raise their heart rate and increase the flow of blood to the muscles. So running activities should always be included somewhere in the soccer coaching warm-up drill. These activities can take a variety of forms including games, races and technique development.

Brain

Your soccer warm-up drills should always include activities to engage the players' brains. Get them thinking. Decision-making activities where there are defenders to beat are excellent for this. Don't just use drills where your players are running and shooting in a line.

Tackling

You should always include some controlled tackling before a game or if your drill session is going to involve tackling. Last season I coached a team where we had a problem with concentration in the first five minutes. To overcome this we played five minutes of controlled 1v1s – defender versus attacker – at the end of our warm-up drill. The problem was quickly solved.

Increasing intensity

Start off gently and build up the intensity over the course of the warm-up training drill. You can get your players to speed up every two minutes in a 10-minute session.

Different for training and matches

For training, think technically, for matches, think tactically. Don’t waste your warm-up drill on just crossing into a crowd of players in the penalty area. You can focus on a variety of technical issues very effectively during a pre-training warm-up. I often use the warm-up drill to develop running and passing technique in 2v1s. For games, we work on the tactical aspects, like using the wings and defensive set-ups. 

Click here for pre-match soccer coaching warm up tips.

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