Soccer and Yoga?

13Nov08

Soccer match on a cold October day. A cold northerly wind blows. The coach (school’s P.E. teacher) conducts the pregame warm-up. It begins with players (6th and 7th grade, from 12 to 13 years old) doing static stretches—first pulling arms across chest, then other arm stretches, followed by trunk stretches and leg stretches. The leg stretches for hamstrings and inner thighs are done sitting on cold grass (good thing it is not raining). I ask the coach’s assistant (another school teacher), what’s with this doing “yoga” outdoors in a freezing wind. He lets out a giggle….

After those static stretches the coach orders the players to get balls and practice. She doesn’t give specific directions, so the players run or walk or stand doing random things with the balls. After a while the coach tells them to practice shooting at the goal, so they do it in their usual random fashion.

After this “warm-up” the coach tells the players to stay warm as they await the beginning of the game. The coach tells them that warm muscles are more pliable than cold ones and so are less likely to be strained. The team loses the match to their better-trained opponents….

If you think this way of warming up happens only at the elementary school level, wait until I dig out some photos….

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3 Responses to “Soccer and Yoga?”

  1. 1 mtrowley

    Sadly this is a completely normal way of warming up for every school class I was ever in – I doubt its changed in the last ten years!

  2. 2 squatss

    It was exactly the same for me, playing as a child and an adult. We always warmed up the same way:
    jog about
    static stretch
    kick about
    play

    I’ve yet to see a club in britain where it is different.

  3. 3 Tyciol

    It’s not just a soccer issue but this certainly illustrates a lot of factors with soccer players where it is emphasized pretty badly eh?


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