Warming up, for any sport or intense activity, is extremely important. Why is that? There are three primary reasons:
Firstly, it decreases the chance of injury. The more strenuous and intense the activity, the higher the chance of injury when starting out cold. A good warm up gets the body ready within all ranges of motion.
Second, a warm up increases a player’s agility, skill, power and potential levels of performance. When a player is warm, they can access power along with flexibility without any limitations. When you see long warm up sessions before a match, this is why.
Finally, players also warm up mentally when they warm up physically. They get in the mindset to face the upcoming game or session. Many players suffer with jitters and nervousness ahead of crucial games, a good warmup is a good counter to those nerves.
Here is a sample soccer drill that is ideal for the start of a warm up session:
Have the team make a circle about 20 yards in diameter or the size of the center circle.
They should stand arms width apart from the player to their left and right.
Place a cone in the center of the circle.
Have the players jog in together to the cone then jog backwards to the outer edge of the circle.
Vary the runs to the center – high knees, heel flicks, sidestepping, lunge strides, hop on one leg etc.
Keep the intensity light.