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Managing Game day - Pre Game Preperation$12.00

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Managing Game day - Pre Game Preperation

Preparing for a game goes beyond the work done on the training ground. In fact, pre-match preparation does not stop until kickoff. This is not to suggest that the players will be kicking the ball around every minute until the game starts. Pre-match preparation goes beyond physical training and little details such as the attention paid to the mental and emotional state of the players can be just as crucial to the performance of the player/team on matchday.

In this booklet, we break down the final hour before kickoff and the types of warm-ups that will be beneficial to the team during that 60-minute countdown. The countdown is broken down into 7 sections - and only three of these are tied to activities with the ball. The first three sections cover the first half-hour. This is the period where the team and parents arrive for the game, final checks are made to ensure that all the right equipment is in the right places, and the coach has a word with the team about the game that they are going to play - a team-talk if you will.

The three sections are broken down as follows:

• Equipment and Organization: Preparing all the equipment that is needed for the warm-up session before
the players arrive. This will help to make sure that none of the time dedicated to the actual exercises
is lost.
• Players and Parents’ Arrival: A period of 15 minutes dedicated to waiting for the arrival of everyone, and
socializing amongst one another before the work begins.
• Team Talk: Here, the coach can discuss tactics, previous sessions, opposition information, and any other
related business.

The next three sections cover 25 minutes of the remaining 30. The first ten minutes of this 25 deal directly with warm-ups that prepare the players for the game physically - stretching out the muscles that need stretching, testing alertness and reactions, and generally making sure that the players are in the right state
to play.

The type of stretches that are advised at this stage is dynamic stretching. This is down to the fact that there has been a lot of persuasive research about how static stretching can decrease muscle power and possibly increase the risk of injuries when participating in activities such as sports immediately after. For that reason, stretching is more advisable for the “cool down” phase - at least in relation to sporting activities. However, this is not “one-size-fits-all” advice, and players that find static stretching beneficial can still do
so in their own time.

This section is also especially important because the coaching staff may notice some new information about a player/s that was not apparent in the training sessions - an injury or soreness, for instance. The next 10 minutes of the 25 deal with group warm-ups that allow the players to allow players to work on possession, keeping the ball, passing, movement, decision making - all exercises involving the ball. These warm-ups prepare the players for real game situations where they will have to execute different variations
of many of the drills that will be discussed.

The last section covering the final 5 minutes pre-kickoff is there for any final checks that need to be done e.g clearing the warm-up areas, setting up the goals, etc.