Six Tips For Staying Warm at Football Training
Now the darker months are upon us, and daylight savings is ending the colder nights and mornings are drawing in. Staying warm at training and during games is important. Being cold is no fun, it lowers reaction times, tightens muscles and makes a player more susceptible to injury.
So what can a player and their parents do to stay warm?
Here are a few easy to follow tips that will make a big difference.
1. Dressing right
Layering is key!
Correctly layering allows a player to take off an item of clothing if they start getting too hot. A lot of sports clothing now is close fitting, allowing for flexible, unrestricted movement.
- Training tights under shorts when playing or under long tracksuit trousers at training are perfect for keeping the legs warm. Pair this with long socks pulled up to the knees, and the legs are now covered up and protected.
- A thermal layer under a playing top and at training with a tracksuit jacket as well, is a great way of staying warm. You can even double these layers up at trainings as player’s may be standing around a little more than during a game.
- Thermal gloves, cold hands are no fun. Thermal gloves help keep the fingers and hands warm and keeps the player’s focus on what’s happening… not their cold hands.
- Beanie hat, keeping a hat on especially when the rest of the body is covered up helps keep a player warm. Although it is untrue we lose over half our heat through the head, if it is exposed to the cold, it will encourage heat loss.
Turf/Football boots are essential as they allow a player to train properly and avoid slipping on wet grounds. Having good turf boots keeps the player on their feet, allowing them to move much more easily in the colder weather. Slipping through unstable footwear leads to a player becoming hesitant in their movement, often over tightening their muscles to fight the loss of balance. Combined with the cold weather and the chances of an injury increases.
3. Warming up correctly by being on time
We are always limited by time at trainings and in the colder months its important the warm up is carried out for everyone so they can be prepared for their session or game. We understand sometimes that transport can mess this up. Making allowances for this by being prepared the night before and working out the fastest route so a player can be present for the team warm up at training and the matches all helps. Quite often getting the player to put together their kit bag the night before, is a good step to them being more responsible for themselves.
Even in the cold weather our players need to stay hydrated. Although not directly related to keeping warm it is important. Becoming dehydrated isn’t something we want, by making sure a player has a full drink bottle of water in their kit bag we can stay on top of this. Dehydration leads to tight muscles and lower performance. When this is combined with the cold weather, it’s not a good mix.
Eating before training, a light healthy snack etc, helps the player’s energy levels, avoiding lethargy. Being able to train and play to the best of their abilities means our players can run around staying warm. When they are low on energy the warmth produced by constant movement which helps keep them warm won’t be as high.
6. After Training and Matches
Quite often this is when a player will get most cold, they have been sweating it out on the pitch and then stop at the end. Standing around in wet clothing is no way of staying warm. Having a spare, dry top to put on afterwards is essential along with changing immediately in to their tracksuit jacket and trousers is a good plan. Putting on an extra warm jacket over the top when it it is really cold and some food and a hot drink, they are good to go.
Staying warm is important, these six easy to follow tips will keep the player warm at trainings and games, ensuring they enjoy their football and decrease their chances of injury.
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