Danielle Marie Leblanc has years of experience both playing and coaching soccer. For several years, she played at a semi-professional level as left side forward. Danielle Marie Leblanc currently coaches soccer for a children’s league in her area. With extensive experience in soccer both on and off the field, Danielle Marie Leblanc has several important tips for creating an effective warm up routine before playing.
Stretching is necessary before playing a game of soccer. There are several types of stretches, the most common of which are static and dynamic stretches. Static stretches involve holding your stretch for 15-25 seconds, and can include putting your arms behind your back, holding lunge positions, and working your leg muscles. During these stretches, you should remain as still as possible. Bouncing while stretching can damage your muscles and cause pain, which Danielle Marie Leblanc emphasizes in her coaching.
Dynamic stretches involve moving your body in ways that you will move during the game. This means swinging your arms and legs in motions that you will use while playing. Stretching your arms across your body, practicing kicking, and running in place will help to prepare your body for the movements it will make during the game. Danielle Marie Leblanc encourages players to practice dynamic stretching both before games and during practice sessions, as they promote muscle memory and reminds your body how it should move while playing soccer.
Short bursts of running or jumping can also help to loosen your muscles before a game. Danielle Marie Leblanc recommends running a few laps, or doing a few reps of burpees and sit-ups before playing. Having a teammate throw the ball to you and bouncing it off your body is also helpful for improving your spatial coordination. This conditions you to avoid catching a stray ball with your hands, which is an illegal move in soccer.
Additionally, Danielle Marie Leblanc recommends that you take time to mentally prepare yourself for the game. Each season, she creates team chants with her players that they rehearse before each game. Team chanting helps to relieve pre-game nerves, and promotes bonding between players. Danielle Marie Leblanc used to find team chants helpful when she was a player, as it allowed her to vocally blow off steam before a game.
For more information on effective strategies for warming up before soccer games, Danielle Marie Leblanc recommends checking out the resources listed below.