Written by: Charmaine Hooper Captain of Canada’s Women’s Soccer Team
Whether you are preparing for a soccer match in the Women’s World Cup Tournament or in your local recreational league, it is important to warm-up. Stretching and cooling down before and after the game is as important as playing the game. Preparing the body for the physical activity will help maximize performance and lessen the risk of pulling a muscle during the game. Warming up with aerobic activity will lessen muscle pulls during a match.
After the game, do not head straight for the car! It is very common for parents and coaches to overlook the importance of a post-game cool-down and stretch. By cooling down, the body will also decrease the chances of any light-headedness or nausea, which sometimes can occur.
Stretching Warm-Up and Cool-Down Tips:
*Remember to stretch your leg and back muscles slowly until a comfortable tightening within the muscle is felt.
*Hold each muscle stretch for about 30 sections.
*Do not bounce or hold your breath while stretching.
*Warming up with light aerobic exercise loosens muscles and readies them for movement.
*Some popular drills are jogging on the spot and passing the ball.
*After the game don’t go immediately to the car it is important to lower your heart rate which can be done by jogging and stretching.
*Stretching after a game will promote muscle flexibility.
*It is also important to keep drinking fluids during and after cooling down.
*Have players take the time to warm-up before and cool down after the game it only takes a few minutes, but it will help your soccer player’s game and keep their body in healthy condition.
*Once players are stretched and warmed up for the soccer game remember they are they are for a positive experience.
Win or lose the goal is to have FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!