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8 Pregame Soccer Warm Up Drills to Get Your Team Going

We warm up for a number of reasons.  A good warm up reduces the risk of muscle injuries; it allows us to being the game at maximum physical and mental condition; it helps to relax nerves before a big match. Soccer warm up drills are that.  It is not a sweat up, or a strain up.

Soccer Warm Up Stretches before the game

A good place to start.  Work on each of the muscle groups we will be using.  Stretches should be gradual, moving until the strain can be felt, then held for ten seconds.  The stretch is then repeated three or four times.  Never bounce during a stretch, that holds a high risk of muscle damage.

  • Calf: Hold on to a team mate by the shoulder, and stretch each calf in turn, holding the opposing knee bent.
  • Hamstrings: Place the legs slightly apart; bend from the waist and lean forward slowly, keeping the legs straight.
  • Groin: Bend one knee and place the hand on it. Gently stretch out the other leg until pressure can be felt.
  • Abdomen: Place the hands behind the head, gently rotate the hips, then lean to one side, hold, forwards, hold and then to the other side.  Finally, lean back and hold, then repeat the entire process.

Warming Up Without the Ball

A series of running activities can help build heart rate as well as warming muscles.  Start with a slow jog for 20 meters, then increase to a medium jog.  Repeat two or three times, then add in a sprint for 20 meters after the medium jog.  Be wary of pushing the spring too far, especially in cold condition.

Next, line up in two or four groups (there needs to be at least three players in each line) around a grid.  Adjacent sides work together,  player one jogs across the grid.  Player two moves into the middle and then shadows the player, jogging backwards.  Player one throws in a shuffle or sidestep.  Player two moves to the opposite side from where he started, ready for the next jog.

Soccer Warm Up Soccer Drills with the Ball

Dribble Warm Up Soccer Drill before Game

Dribble twenty metres, tapping the ball from side to side between the feet.  Then pass to a team mate, who dribbles back the other way.  Develop this by moving to cones, dribbling between them and then passing, as in the diagram below.

Soccer Warm Up Drills 1

Weaving Warm Up Soccer Drill before Game

Work in threes with this warm up.  The player in the middle has the ball and jogs forward with it under control. His colleagues jog forwards with them.  After ten metres of so, he passes it to his team mate, then accelerates and behind then beside the new player in possession.  The third player narrows so that the same shape as originally in place is reformed.

Soccer Warm Up Drills 4


Square Passing Warm Up Soccer Drill before Game

Start with some pairs passing to get the muscles loosened.  After five minutes of this, move on to square passing, as described below.

Soccer Warm Up Drills 2

In a 10m square, place a player in the middle, and one on each edge of the grid.  Do some two touch passing, moving on to first time passing, going through the middle each time.  Add a shadow defender who is there to harry, rather than tackle.

Develop this into a rondo drill, 4 v 1 or 5 v 2, in a small grid using first time or two touch passing.  Swap the defenders regularly.


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Tom

    Another great post! I coach 5th graders (10-11 yo) and they love to do the keepy uppy warm up. I like to get them using all body parts before a game. It seems to make them more confident right at the start.

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