Moving through the Long Term Player Development method, in this article I will explain about the Physical Corner. As we discovered in the LTPD section, all the football related activities include physical outcomes. The coach needs to make use of the movement exercises to develop the young player.
The purpose of the warm-up is to raise body temperature and prepare psychologically for the training session / match. The warm-up should begin with low intensity activities that should then be progressively developed, thus raising the heart rate.
A warm-up has the following physical effects:
- Raises body temperature
- Increases blood flow and oxygen delivery to the muscles
- Increases metabolism and energy supply
- Increases neural function
- Activates the muscles
- Increases preparedness
- Makes the player more psychologically aware
- Improves muscle flexibility and increases joint mobility
Considerations for the warm-up:
* Age of players – The young players require less warm-up and the emphasis should be on fun.
* Ability of players – be aware of varying technical capabilities.
* Intensity – Relevant to the technical practice to be undertaken.
* Content – Relevant to practice, incorporating aspects of the ensuing session.
* Number of players – ensure all players are involved.
* Size of area – keep the area tight and compact.
* Location – This will have implications for the players in terms of maintaining body temperature.
* Duration – This should be between 15-30 minutes in length.
The warm-up should have a basic structure. For example:
1. Jog and loosing up
2. Basic dynamic stretching
3. Unopposed ball work and/or fun activity
4. Competitive ball session (possession/SSG)
5. Area specific – e.g.: defenders heading, centre forwards shooting
During warm-up it is important to keep the session lively and enjoyable. For young players try to focus more on ball work and fun warm-ups. I will explain some Tag Games and Relay Activities for fun warm-ups.
Players run freely in a given area. When a player is caught, he holds hands with his captor and continues chasing the other players.
When touched, the person stands with their legs astride. He is set free when someone else goes under his legs.
Progressive dodge ball
Players run freely in a given area. The ‘it’ player throws a ball to hit a player below the knees. If a player is hit, he also becomes ‘it’. This game requires multiple ball feed.
Each player has a band / bib that they place in their shorts, so it trails behind them. The players then run freely to see how many bands they can collect (individually or as two teams).
Ball passing with trunk turning
The ball is passed from front to rear with alternate trunk turning. The end player runs to the front.
The ball is thrown by the team leader through the legs of the other players. The rear player runs to the front.
In and out
The rear player of each team runs in and out of her teammates, stopping at the head of the team before the next player sets off.
Player A runs to a marked position and performs an exercise. He then runs back to his team and touches the next player, who runs out and performs a different exercise.
Change of direction (20 x 20)
One marker per player is spread throughout the area. Players move around the area. As players approach the marker, they must move quickly to avoid being burned by the lava. The aim of this drill is to see how many volcanoes can be dodged in 30 seconds.
Change of direction (20 x 20)
Players stand side-by-side. Player A moves, changing speed and direction. Player B copies Player A’s movements.
(15 x 15)
Players stand behind each other, arms length apart. Player A must follow Player B and react to changes of direction and speed.
(20 x 20)
Players in groups of four with two balls move around the area, passing the ball in sequence to their partners, who are numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4. On command the balls allowed to be passed to anyone within the area, irrespective of the team.
I genuinely hope this information will help you to conduct a fun oriented warm-up for your young players.
In the next article of Physical Corner (Part-2) of the LTPD system, I will describe about fundamental movement skills and dynamic stretching.
The continuing support from you readers has been amazing and would like to say thank you to all. Please leave your feedback and suggestions in the comments section.
Justin Jose writes for FootballKerala.com