Stick with basic fundamental drills that also need repetitive practice to stay sharp—tossing the ball to the inside both feet with a partner, driven balls in a group of three to mix in some running (pass and move, players stationed at the width of the field, one on one side and then two on the other), etc. All of these drills can act as warm up routines prior to moving into a more intense training session.
At this point, you can choose to perform a second round of stretches, but this time hold each stretch for a longer amount of time. Under the supervision of a trained professional, you can also move up to dynamic stretching, where you basically stretch while moving. With ballistic movements (usually a bouncing motion) you can achieve greater flexibility. In soccer, that includes leg swings, jumps, high knees, and back kicks (kicking heels up to your butt).
This type of stretching, however, is much more prone to injury if not practiced correctly. Don’t move into dynamic stretching until you’ve completed a basic warm-up and stretching under the direct supervision of a coach or trainer. The last thing you need is to swing your leg up and feel a muscle yank right before a game or practice begins.
A good warm-up will alternate stretching and drills with gradually increasing intensity, and without dead stops in between. Although each player has his/her own preference of how to train and warm up for a game, it’s important to keep your circulation going so that you don’t start playing while cold or stiff. Do whatever you can to avoid losing your momentum right before the game.
COACHES: Push your team but leave some energy in the tank for drills later in the practice session or game. Keep an eye on your players and try to get the most out of every minute of practice. You want your team to maintain concentration and focus even in warm up drills. This kind of focus will translate to the games. Watch players so they don’t coast during warm ups or at practice in general—demand the best from them from the beginning to the end of warm-up and practice.
Warm Up Videos
Think of your body as a car that’s stuck in that dreaded stop-and-go traffic jam. We all know that constant braking can damage the motor and decrease gas efficiency because the car uses more gas and energy to start all over again. It’s much gentler on the car to maintain a steady flow. The same principle applies to your body. The more you stop and go, the more calories your body uses to meet this high impact activity, not to mention the greater physical exertion on your muscles! It’s much more efficient (and safer) to maintain your circulation so that you can be flexible and agile during the game.
The trouble with this, though, is that some players may feel that their routine is too repetitive or limited for their liking. But there are a wide variety of warm-up drills you can perform to maintain your momentum without getting bored. Here’s a quick guide of warm up drills:
TIP: In soccer tennis, beginners may require several bounces to learn crucial touch skills, so it is best to start playing on a hard surface. For more advanced players, playing on a soft surface such as a grass field will require more juggling because the ball won’t bounce as high.
Here Bayern Munich play keep away or piggy in the middle – in this case 7 versus 2. Watch how fast they move the ball.
And here are some other games that work well as warm up drills:
The warm-up routine of Barcelona’s Suarez, Neymar and Messi.