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I have been coaching 7th grade soccer for about two seasons now, going into my 3rd this quarter, and I want to include some sport injury prevention exercises in my 1 hour and a half practice session. Reason being is that in these past two seasons, I have really noticed that a majority of my athletes have been getting injured a little more than usual due to weak ankles, a weak foot and such.

In my regular practices I already do stretches and warm up drills aside from practice. Obviously because these athletes are in middle school, they do not have the luxury of high school athletes that get weight room time and a sports med teacher.

What I‘m not quite sure on is how to shape my practice sessions so that the athletes can get a good warm up, stretch, and the injury prevention exercises and still have enough time to do the practicing part. Would it make better sense to do the exercises before the practice but after the stretches or at the end of it all? Again I would very much like to keep the sessions to 1.5h to 1.75h if possible.

  • Sounds like lack of endurance. How many sprint drills do you have in your sessions? – dly Mar 8 at 17:38
  • I do about 6 per practice, 3 before 3 after and on Fridays, I focus more than half of my session on those type of drills as I know I can push them harder as they have the weekend to recover – luis Mar 9 at 1:42
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    And strength related drills? (e.g. stairs, medicine balls,.. to build up muscles) – dly Mar 9 at 7:26
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I used to be able to attend professional football training. There our trainers always said, that warming up is important, but stretching during the exercises and stretching at the end is much more important to prevent injuries. After the training sessions i also received a massage, which you probably cannot offer. However, at the end of each training session I would stretch with your team for 5 minutes (3-4 exercises for 30 seconds each). Form 15 seconds onwards the tension in the muscles is reduced, which is desirable after the training. Before training, stretching exercises are only possible up to max. 10 seconds well, because you activate the muscles during this time. To do this, do not use static, but dynamic stretching (by rocking back and forth). What is also beneficial for the muscles is an ice bath after training (is not very popular, but very effective...). This promotes blood flow to the stressed muscles and thus accelerates regeneration and reduces the risk of injury.

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