Image credit to FC Barcelona of course.
If you watch Barcelona during a training session they always start out with a little bit of 5 versus 2 or piggy in the middle. This is just a simple keep away game to get the blood flowing and have some fun, but it’s the basis of soccer too. Keeping the ball away from the defense. After playing keep away for a while they then stop and do some stretching and start again.
Quote: Learn to work well under pressure. Tim Howard (when he was loaned out to Everton by Man U) said: “When you’re at Manchester United, everything is scrutinized, every little thing. There’s a pressure to perform every day that is greater [than in MLS]. Pressure can bust pipes or make diamonds. I turn that pressure into something I can enjoy.”
The Tim Howard quote above tells you as a coach to set the tone at practice, and this starts at the warm up. Create an atmosphere that is fun but also intense. Demand that players do everything as if they were playing a game against their rivals. Players should make their passes and control the ball with a sharpness and meaning. Challenge your players to get better every single day.
Warm Up Videos
Sample Soccer (Football) Warm up
1. As players arrive, start off with a light game of keep away. (until 15 minutes before practice begins)
2. All players jog around half the field twice and slowly pick up the pace on the endlines. They then jog the sides and add in some skipping, high knees, kicking up behind and shuffling along the end lines. Finish off with sprinting. (5 minutes)
3. Static stretching held for 10 seconds in each position, each position held twice. (4 minutes)
4. Soccer tennis, shuttle, or obstacle course. (10 minutes)
5. Second round of stretching held for 15 seconds in each position, each position held once. May incorporate dynamic stretching if appropriate. (2 minutes)
6. Three-man weave or man in the middle. (4 minutes)
The warm-up routine of Barcelona’s Suarez, Neymar and Messi.
Learn more soccer warm up tips: