Importance of the Warm Up in Sports to prevent injuries

How Warm-ups in Games and Practice Keep Players Injury Free

At any level, having fun and winning are two of the ultimate joys that come with playing soccer. But every young child’s desire to play the game is followed by a move to make your body available to the stress, strains and pain that also come with it. As soccer has progressed through the decades, developments in sports science has enhanced players’ ability to maintain top shape, managing their bodies better and recovering quickly from the intense exertions the game demands.

In the modern game, warm-up and cool-down drills have become better appreciated as integral to player health. A warm-up basically is a slow-pace, low-intensity physical activity or a combination of activities such as cardiovascular exercises and stretching done before a practice or a game.  In professional settings, teammates participate in the warm-up together, going through the same sequence of activities in some sort of choreographic form. Warm-ups and cool-downs present numerous advantages to teams and players, especially when they are adhered to like a vital part of strategy.

Preventing Injuries

Considering the fast-pace nature of soccer, light cardiovascular exercises are important to ensure circulation is occurring at the required level in the body. The role this plays in averting unwanted heart-related emergencies during soccer games cannot be overstated, hence coaches and players are advised to always take them seriously and not skip them. Stretching exercises are another useful warm-up activity because of how they help in easing tension in the body muscles and joints. Stretching exercises allow the muscles to become warmer and prepare them for use during games. When muscles in tight conditions are suddenly put into action, injury problems like hamstring strains may occur. This is why substitutes in a game have to regularly stretch and jog even dozens of minutes before they are likely to be called on to join games. Because substitutions can only be done three times, it would be a shame for a player to be substituted on to a game only to pull up with a cramp or strain and then in turn has to be replaced.

Don’t Rush the Routine

Approaching warm-up routines systematically and consciously can act as a medium for training particular parts of the body. For example, doing high knee jumps strengthen leg and hip muscles, doing the hurdler refines motion, and the backwards skipping builds calves and quads. In effect, it is in the best interest of a soccer player to patiently go through warm-up drills as though they were directly necessary for how they will eventually play. As with dieting, taking care to follow a consistent and flexible routine makes the player’s body regular, setting the desirable disposition for giving one’s best during games. Doing the same thing over and again my get tedious but scheduled routines are essential for producing great athletes.

Cool-downs are great for recovery

What you don’t want as a soccer player is to play one game and not be available for the next. Normally, the body exerts quite a lot of energy in one game so much so that it needs to gain some of the lost muscle energy. Very physical soccer games tend to leave players sore and fatigued but a good cool-down is the immediate post-game path to full recovery. One of the prime benefits of a cool-down is lowering a player’s heart rate. Also, a good cool down will reduce a player’s tendency to be burdened by Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – that stiffness of the muscles that may set in a day or two after exercise.

Cool-downs involve less activity and take less time than warm-ups but may involve similar drills like light jogs and stretches. In a way, a cool-down is the means by which a team moves on from a result (in the case of game) regardless of whether they won or lost. Simultaneously, players aim to relax the muscles as well as the mind to put the body in a state conducive for sleep. Many elite players manage to have long years in the game without suffering serious injuries. However, these players and their teams usually have firm rules around watching yourself and consciously making observations about one’s body.

Conclusion

Being a high performing player with the ability to skillfully handle a soccer ball and exhibit some nice moves on the field while also averting injury, is not a feat that is achieved effortlessly. As we have seen, a significant element of succeeding at the sport of soccer requires adequate preparation pre and post-game. While actually playing, passing and scoring are the moments that evoke the most interest and excitement from supporters, players who stay injury free and maintain a consistent form throughout their soccer playing tenure, are mostly those who take things like warm-ups and cool-downs seriously.

REFERENCES

Aerobic exercise: How to warm up and cool down

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20045517

Importance of Warming Up before Sport http://www.nsmi.org.uk/articles/injury-prevention/warming-up.html

Warming Up and Cooling Down http://www.soccercoachcanada.com/warming-up—cooling-down.html Soccer Practice https://www.esoccerdrills.com/soccer-coaching/practice.html

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