Traditionally most football training sessions start with some kind of warm up. At Onside training sessions for younger children our warm up is usually getting a game started as the children arrive. The reason for this is that whenever kids show up for football training they are excited and ready to play straight away. If we stopped them playing a game their enthusiasm would be affected so we want to let them play and get their initial burst of energy and adrenaline out of their system. Once they have played a game for a few minutes with their friends we then bring them back into a more focused game to get them into the mindset of training and also allows us, as Coaches, to get control of the training session and to get the attention of the players. As children get older, however, it is good to start off with some kind of structured warm up to ensure that everyone is stretched, their heart rate is increased and that they are mentally preparing themselves to play football.
As players get older your warm ups will change but what we advise is to focus on dynamic stretches which incorporate the movements of football. Static stretches should be avoided. Fun games, as shown in the videos, are a good way to increase energy levels and also create a good environment for training.
There are numerous resources available online, such as at www.soccerclinics.com, which is an excellent resource for training drills. We have included a few examples from them and also an additional drill for younger players which can be used as a warm up but also includes elements of ball mastery, which you will be looking at on the next page.