In soccer practice, it’s a fact that both players and the coaches have a tendency to take warming up and stretching lightly. It must be understood that a practice must support the development of players as a whole. In soccer training, performing daily drills is not good enough.
Players are required to have energy, flexibility, and stamina to remain in the game. Warm up and stretching should therefore be the starting points of any practice session. After that, get on to coaching different techniques, games, and drills. Lastly, game tactics can be taught to the kids.
There are two purposes that are fulfilled from warm up and stretching. It readies the body to take the strain of a tough sessions and relaxes the body after the session is over. Following are some drills that can be prove to be great stretching and warm up exercises.
1. Running in Formation: Make all team members run in this activity, two shoulder to shoulder and staying synchronized. This is a great team activity that develops stamina as well as instills team spirit among the kids. Besides, the opposition gets a signal that it’s going to be difficult for them to survive against you when they see you approaching them in a defined shape of people.
2. Follow the leader: Another warm up soccer drills which help players get trained at following orders and dribbling while watching other team players. This activity requires every player to have a ball. Ask the assistant coach or an advanced player to lead the team. This player should try a lot of new things which should be imitated in turn by the rest of the pack.
3. Reaching out: In soccer practice, this is a popular and very effective stretching exercise. Instruct the players to stretch their legs towards left, right, and center in a standing position. Then, ask them to try touching their toes on all sides. Initially, the players will find it difficult but will get used to it soon.
4. Lift legs up behind: This is another stretching exercise that works the thighs up. While standing, the kids must fold one of their thighs and hold it for a specific time. Then it must be repeated with the left leg. It is vital that the kids do not look at the ground otherwise, they may fall down.
Every practice must have a goal. As a coach, try to focus on 1 or 2 skills per week. Create games and exercises that warm up the players as well as help them stretch after the training and also develop their abilities.
Fitness is the key. Appreciate the fact that the team that gets worn out easily loses. It is extremely important that every drill uses a soccer ball. Instruct the kids to run around the field while dribbling a ball.
Jump start your soccer practice sessions with these tips. If you are looking for more knowledge, tips, and tricks, subscribe to our youth soccer coaching community today.
Andre Botelho is known online as "The Expert Youth Soccer Coach" and his free Soccer practice ebooks and reports have been downloaded more than 100,000 times. To skyrocket your players' skills and make practice fun in record time, download your free Soccer Training ebook at: Soccer Coaching.