This month our Guest Coach Wayne, talks about the importance of warming up. 
Is there anything more boring as a lap as a warm up? What are you trying to achieve? If someone can’t run a lap of the pitch how could they run for 80 minutes? Unfortunately, the lap is a passed down tradition from lazy old school PE teachers who use it to just get a couple of minutes restbite from the kids. 
Personally, I feel a warm-up should be much more organised and to focus on stretching out the muscles as well as promoting blood flow throughout the body, feeding the muscles with the sugars and proteins in the blood prior to training. A longer muscle is a stronger muscle so never underestimate the importance of a well-structured warm up. 
With this in mind, one of my favourite warm-ups to do is below. I personally like to have the whole team do this together as I want them to work together and as a unit. 
The set up is simple, use cones to mark a grid make sure your lateral lines are using the same colour cones all the way across. Also remember the players only need to remember the movements, the coach should shout what action they want and where at every occasion. 
 
1ST - 25 M Red Line –Sprint to the RED - run backwards in a line to YELLOW - Hit the floor face down - Spin over and crap walk (both arms behind them lifting their bums off the floor) to the WHITE. 
2ND - 20 M Green Line – 5 Diamond press ups (this can be done on feet or on knees. If on feet the player is to position their hands together making a diamond, unlike a normal press up you want a bend back not a straight line, this is to make the player having to use purely their triceps to perform the push, the object is to get your nose to the diamond. If on knees they are to rock forward so the nose goes through the diamond) – Lunges to BLUE - sidewalk squats to the GREEN (drop into a squat side on, up then spin and repeat until you get to the finish) - Bear crawls to the BLUE (hands on the ground, full leg no kneeling, crawl) – Lunges to WHITE. 
3RD - 15 M Yellow Line – Sprint to the YELLOW – 10 Star Jumps as a team (get them to count) – run backwards to BLUE – 10 Squats – Duck walks to WHITE (player lower down to the squat and then walk forwards staying in the squatted level) 
4th - 10 M Blue Line – Reverse duck walks to BLUE – Wheelbarrow to WHITE (player teams with player to their right) – 5 wheelbarrow push-ups – Wheel barrow to BLUE (players swap after push ups) – 5 wheelbarrow push-ups - Lunges to White. 
Start Line White 
Only give a small break if they are really suffering, ideally, this should just be done back to back. 
This will get every critical body part stretched out and warmed up. But makes sure nobody is left behind. You want the team to work as a line and together as you are only as fast as your slowest player. Use the Lap as a punishment more than a warm-up. If someone isn’t doing as requested or disrupting the others, spend them for a lap, because once they see the improvements happen in their team mates, they will see the benefit and want to do it instead of not. 
 
ALL EXERCISES HAVE TO BE TO THE ABILITY OF THE PLAYERS YOU HAVE AT YOUR SESSIONS. IF SOME ARE SIMPLY NOT FIT ENOUGH, CHANGE ALL THE TEAM TO THEIR LEVEL NOT ALLOWING THEM TO BE LEFT OUT OR EASILY SEGREGATED AS THEIR DEVELOPMENT WILL SUFFER AND THAT IS THE EXACT THING YOU DON’T WANT TO HAPPEN. 
 
Thank you Wayne! Some usefull drills to keep players engaged on cold winter training nights. Always a challenge! 
 
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