Keeping Your Club Soccer Practices Safe For The Kids
Coaching club soccer is definitely a challenging, but fun experience. One of the most difficult aspects of coaching a soccer team full of children is making practice exciting, but still making it safe. Nothing is worse than pushing kids too hard during practice and seeing them injured and unable to play. Some injuries can be so severe that it may end that persons soccer career at a young age. There are a few things you need to do in order to make sure that your practice sessions are as safe as possible.
One of the most important things to do during club soccer team practice is stretching. One of the leading causes of most injuries during soccer practice occurs because a players muscles were cold and then became overworked during the strenuous physical practice. Many coaches do incorporate some type of stretching routine but do not stretch for a long enough period of time. Stretching should be done for twenty minutes at the start of practice. Do a variety of different stretches that will warm up the muscles in every major muscle group in the body. This stretching will help you to prevent players from sustaining injuries and get them in the right frame of mind to begin practice.
Stretching is not the only important preparation you should be doing during club soccer practice sessions. You also need to spend some time warming up. Warm ups include exercises that are geared toward raising the heart rate up some and getting blood flowing adequately throughout the body. This warm up will also continue to stretch the muscles and supply them with blood. This again reduces the risk of getting severely injured during a practice session. Along with warming up, you also need to take some time at the end of practice to do a cool down and then stretch again before concluding practice.
Make sure that all of the club soccer team members stay well hydrated during practice. Soccer is a very physical sport that has a lot of running involved in it. This means players are going to perspire quite heavily during practice games or scrimmages. Make sure to have plenty of water and sports drinks available to help replenish the electrolytes lost from sweating. If children do not stay hydrated, they can get sick during practice, or during hotter months they can get heat stroke, so be sure to stay on top of this situation.
by: Bob Lundin