Soccer warm up drills have a few uses. They can help prevent injury by loosening up muscles and getting players ready for a more intense workout, but some types of football warm up drills can also give players a chance to practice and develop skills. Soccer warm up drills also help players to focus and get into the mindset for the practice or game ahead of them.
Players should begin with gentler warm up activities that include both stretching and aerobic exercises. Light jogging, skipping and stretches that players hold for several seconds are all appropriate beginning activities. Very young children may not need this initial warmup, but in general, by the age of nine or ten, it's best to begin with these types of exercises. These drills warm up the muscles and make them less vulnerable to strains.
After this, players can proceed to football warm up drills that focus more specifically on skills and use the ball. The type of drills chosen will depend upon players' skill levels, but both individual and paired or group soccer warm up drills are appropriate at this stage.
Football warm up drills are just as important if not more so before a game as they are before a practice. Players who are insufficiently warmed up may lose valuable time as they struggle to get into the rhythm of the game. Soccer warm up drills before games should not take so long that players feel tired and should also take place near enough to the game's start that muscles stay warm and flexible.