There are heaps of reasons to get regular exercise. Increased fitness, improved wellbeing and a boost to your endurance are a few justifications to get out and get fit. If you work out a few times a week, you’ll notice an improvement in your energy levels, appetite and hopefully the quality of your sleep. While you may be tempted to skip the exercise and relax and watch Netflix or browse Facebook instead, it pays to get out and get moving.
And one way you can get regular exercise is by playing a team sport – in particular, soccer. The world game is a great way to stay fit and make friends. That said, you need to ensure that you prepare for each match properly or you may risk injury. So let’s check out how to get ready for the big game each week, the right way.
Stretch to Avoid Injury
Before you get out on the pitch with the soccer ball, you’re going to want to implement a routine of stretching. You’re going to be running, swerving, dodging and kicking for ninety minutes (with a half-time break), so you want to be flexible and limber beforehand. Focus on stretching your legs, hamstrings, hips and even your arms. If you barge straight into a match without warming up with some stretches your muscles are cold and tight, and you could seize up, pull a muscle or even risk a tear. So look after yourself and prepare appropriately.
Pack Your Game Bag
You want to be as prepared as possible for the big day. So pack your bag the night before, so you’re not rushing around the morning of the game. Include a first-aid kit – which should include some pain relief like paracetamol or aspirin, bandages, sunscreen, antiseptic wipes, and some athletic tape. Also pack your uniform, shoes and ankle supports, knee braces and other braces if you’re recovering from an injury.
Mental Preparation is Just as Essential
Making sure that you are in the right frame of mind to play and play to win is just as important as your physical preparation. Do what you need to do for you to get pumped up and in the mood to smash the opposition. For some this might look like meditation; for others, it may mean blasting heavy metal in the car on the way to the game. For others again it may mean spending quality time with friends or family. Either way, you want to hit the pitch feeling calm, focused and full of energy.
If in Doubt, Speak to Your Coach
Your coach is there to guide you, inspire you and train you to win. If you have butterflies in your stomach or you’re feeling unprepared or full of doubt, have a chat to your coach. Their job is to get you in the zone to compete at your best, so let them know that you need a bit of a pep talk, and they’ll gladly oblige.
Kick Off the Conclusion
Soccer is a great team sport to help you to stay in shape and make some friends, but it’s essential to prepare for a match the right way. Make sure to stretch and warm up to prevent injury, and pack your game bag the night before, so you’re not rushed – remembering all the items listed above. Ensure that you prepare yourself mentally in a way that suits you. Finally, if you have doubts about the game speak to your coach, and they’ll give you a last minute pep talk. Finally, enjoy the game and good luck! Play to win.