Coaches’ Tips


Stretching should be always performed with warm up before training and cool down after training.
Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle (or muscle group) are deliberately stretched, often by movement away from the body.
Regular stretching helps:
  • Reduce muscle tightening due to ageing
  • Increase movement range of joints
  • Increased circulation of the blood to various parts of the body which helps increase energy levels and as part of a warm up .
Stretching is used therapeutically to alleviate such things as cramps and to aid in recovery (during a warm down) after strenuous exercise.
There are two type of stretching:

1. Dynamic Stretching
2. Static Stretching

Different forms of warm up:
What Is Dynamic Stretching?
Trainers and experts commonly define dynamic stretching as a kind of stretch that uses low intensity movements similar to the activity to be performed to “stretch” the muscles. Arm circles and walking lunges are common examples of dynamic stretching. The Benefits of Dynamic Stretching:
The primary benefit of using dynamic stretching, just before a sporting event or fitness routine, is that dynamic stretches use motions similar to those that the sportsman’s will use during the sports event. For example, doing kicking stretches before football match will effectively warm up the limbs and body to for striking the ball during the match.

What is Static Stretching?
Static stretches generally do not involve active movement; they are positions that are held for a predetermined length of time. Static stretches are classified as maintenance or developmental. Maintenance stretches are held for 10 to 20 seconds and designed to maintain your current level of flexibility. Developmental stretches are designed to gradually increase your flexibility and are held for 30 to 60 seconds or longer. Static stretches include touching your toes while seated or pulling your foot up to your buttocks while standing.
Static stretches are usually performed whilst relaxing and it reduces heart rate and body temperature.

The Benefits of Static Stretching:
The major benefit is a concentrated focus on increasing flexibility and range of motion in the joints. This can also be achieved with dynamic stretching, but via static stretching you can target and focus on improving flexibility in specific way. Static stretching is the best stretch to use for aches, pains and cramps. Dynamic stretching can aggravate the injury or niggles. It can be done by almost anyone if performed correctly.
Stretching is an important part of you exercise regimes. Flexible and limber muscles are less prone to injury and improve athletic performance.

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Importance of Warm Up during training sessions.

Why do we warm up?
  • To prevent injuries from occurring during training session
  • To raise total body and deep muscular temperature to prepare the entire body for training session
  • To stimulate the different body systems, such as the cardiovascular (heart) and nervous system, by gradually increasing the work load on the systems. This will help ensure that they are able to meet the demands of more strenuous activity.
Different forms of warm up:
Passive Warm Up:
Passive warm up is a way to increase either total or local body temperature without rigorous physical activity. Body temperature is usually increased by external means. For example is wearing additional clothing, sweatshirts, tracksuit with multiple layers of clothing or massaging the muscles with exercise rub. The extra clothing prevents heat loss and raises the body temperature. Passive warm up can be used before stretching for example. However, for the best result passive warm up is recommended to use in combination with active warm up.

Active Warm Up:

There are two types of active warm up.
  • General warm up: this is non-specific warm up that utilizes low intensity movements such as walking and or slow jogging to increase muscle temperature.
  • Specific warm up: actively involves those parts of the body parts that will be used in the subsequent strenuous activity. An example would be performing lunges to increase muscle flexibility in the quadriceps for football. Specific warm up effectively increases the temperature for the specific body parts that are used during the activity. Note: the warm up should be done in balance with most activity as whole body is usually involved.
  • The Effects of warm up on the body is to:
  • Increases blood circulation
  • This raises both the general body and the deep muscle temperatures, which in turn help to heat up the muscles, ligaments and tendons in preparation for more vigorous activity and to prevent injuries.
  • Increases the heart rate gradually,
  • To increase oxygen supply to the body. Exercising without warming up, may cause the muscles to work inefficiently as they do not have adequate oxygen supply. This reduces the efficiency of energy production in the body. It forces the muscles to use anaerobic processes to convert carbohydrates into energy and lactic acid is produced as a byproduct. Lactic acid accumulates and the muscles may become tried more quickly.
  • To mentally prepare
  • Warm up mentally prepares the athlete for an event by clearing the mind, increasing focus, reviewing skills and strategy. Positive imagery can also relax the athlete and build concentration.
  • Intensity and duration of warm up:

    Duration of the warm up is generally 10 to 15 minutes. Intensity depends upon the kind of strenuous exercise environmental temperature and clothes you are wearing. The aim is increase body temperature by one to two degrees Fahrenheit. The rest period between the warm up and the strenuous exercise should not be more than 5 minutes.

    Difference between stretching and warm up:

    Stretching is not warm up. It is important to warm-up before stretching. If one stretches the muscles without prior warm-up, the muscles are cold and are more prone to injury, such as muscle tear or strain. Before exercising, begin with a warm-up period to raise the body temperature. You want to get the heart pumping and increase blood flow to the muscles before stretching.
    A warm-up is a vital of preparing your body and mind for strenuous exercise, make warm up a routine part of any exercise you do.

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Get fuelled up for fun & exercise

  • Eating properly is essential for providing the body with the fuel to give player the energy needed for participating in strenuous exercise. Eating the right food, at the right time is essential.
  • For 90mins over a period of around 2 hours, Football players have to be able sustain high energy activities ( running, jumping, swerving) over an extend period of time.
  • Football players need to make quick decisions: a moment’s indecision can mean the opportunity to shoot or trap the ball is lost.
  • Specific warm up: actively involves those parts of the body parts that will be used in the subsequent strenuous activity. An example would be performing lunges to increase muscle flexibility in the quadriceps for football. Specific warm up effectively increases the temperature for the specific body parts that are used during the activity. Note: the warm up should be done in balance with most activity as whole body is usually involved.
  • Due to the prolonged and vigorous nature of the sport, carbohydrates are a football player’s main fuel whilst playing.
  • The body stores carbohydrates in the muscles as glycogen. These stores are limited and need to be constantly replenished.
  • As players use up the bodies fuel (glycogen) stores, players ability to make good decisions on the field, their ability to co-ordinate their movement and sustain these high level of activities decrease rapidly.
  • Small meals and snacks throughout the day are the best way to keep your energy levels high. Good carbohydrate sources include bagels, cereals, beans, rice, pasta, bread, pretzels, fruit, juice, potatoes, beans, whole-wheat bread and tortillas.
  • To conserve muscle glycogen and prevent fatigue, you should also take carbohydrates during practice sessions and games.
  • Key message: Players need to eat a balanced diet every day, from every food group, and keep themselves well-hydrated. However, before and after a training session think about your carbohydrate intake.

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Importance of Drinking Water

Staying hydrated is essential for everyone, but those who are participating in rigorous exercise have an even greater need to maintain proper hydration.

Professional footballers can run 10 to 20 kilometer (10 miles) per game. A typical pattern for a footballer is high speed bursts over 30 to 40 meters, often with high energy changes in direction either horizontally or vertically.  Extended runs of 100 plus meters may be needed–yes footballers need to be good athletes, effectively endurance sprinters and high jumpers!

Water is the most important nutrient for life. It is a critical component in many important bodily functions e.g. regulating temperature (sweating), lubricating joints and carrying nutrients and waste throughout the body.

To find the correct balance of fluids for exercise, the American College Of Sports Medicine suggests that "individuals should develop customized fluid replacement programs that prevent excessive (greater than 2 percent body eight reductions from baseline body weight) dehydration. The routine measurement of pre- and post-exercise body weights is useful for determining sweat rates and customized fluid replacement programs. Consumption of beverages containing electrolytes and carbohydrates can help sustain fluid-electrolyte balance and exercise performance."

General Guidelines for Fluid Needs During Exercise (source: American College of Sports Medicine)

1 fl oz is approximately 28.4 mililitres, 1lb is 0.45 kg)

Please note everyone is different, but most athletes can use the following guidelines as a starting point. You should modify you intake according to what you are doing.

Hydration before Exercise

  • Drink about 15-20 fl oz, 2-3 hours before exercise.
  • Drink 8-10 fl oz 10-15 min before exercise.

Hydration during Exercise

  • Drink 8-10 fl oz every 10-15 min during exercise.
  • If exercising longer than 90 minutes, drink 8-10 fl oz of a sports drink (with no more than 8 percent carbohydrate) every 15 - 30 minutes.

Hydration after Exercise

  • Weigh yourself before and after exercise and replace fluid losses.
  • Drink 20-24 fl oz water for every 1 lb lost.
  • Consume a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein within the 2 hours after exercise to replenish glycogen stores.

Please note: feeling thirsty is not an accurate way to measure your hydration.

Keys message – Hydrate yourself before and after any exercise, drink a little water regularly during exercise.

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Conscient Group