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What is the best warm up routine for U9 boys before a game?
Thanks Coach Heath
I try and do a 20 min warm up with my team, first we have a slow jog across the width of the pitch we do 2-3 widths then we side step 2 widths then 2 widths running backwards followed by a sprint finish. we then do some sprinting exercises, i then do some passing work in groups of four in squares of about 10 x 10 steps trying to get the ball moving as quick as we can whilst keeping it in the square, then get each player in the middle closing the ball down trying to win the ball we then finish of taking shoots at the goalkeeper. simple drills but gets the heart racing and wakes them up and gets there focus on the game.
With U9's its best to ensure ball use right from the off.
One thing to do is to use the centre circle. Have 2 teams, each team has 2 players on the inside of the circle and 4 players on the outside.
Players on the outside have a ball each. Players in the middle combine with 1 outside player at any one time. 1 of the 2 in the middle plays a 1,2 with the outside player and then the other does the same.
Ensure the players play 1 touch and have good spaces between them.
Progress this to increase the intensity of the warm up by now allowing 1/2 balls per team on the outside. They work different passing and moving patterns in the middle (as you or they like) and then find a different player on the outside.
Dont forget to change the players roles. (this can be as part of the progrssion, i.e. when passing to the outside change with the player you pass to - or - as a scheduled change of roles every 3 minutes).
This will give a good feel of the ball and the pitch you are about to play on, also a nice way to get them sharp with regards to movements and good touches on the ball (1,2 touch maximum).
Thanks for the feedback. Very insightful and will try to implement in my pre-game warm-up. Cheers!
Hi I've learned that the best way to warm my team up is I let my captain take them for a small light jog across a couple widths of the pitch doing dynamic stretches whilst moving and static stretches at the side lines I then give them a basic 5v4 or 4v4 in a 20yrd by 20yrd square (well approx 20yrds as my outfield players arrange the square themselves) and my subs warm up the keeper with shots at goal across the ground, wide and hard with the keeper then practising his goal kicks off the ground as all keepers will want to do better at goal kicks off the ground. The outfield players by playing a simple 4v4 adapt quickly playing in a small area, being alert of space and passes and then hopefully take that into the game. In fact I try and get involved as little as possible during our pre-match warm up giving all my players the responsibilty themselves, didn't quite work well at first messing around and stuff but now they get straight into it and behave like young adults warming up but are only 12.
Dynamic stretches for U9's???? REALLY!?? At U9 they can run out of the car and be ready to go . Tons of ball work in any form of passing, keep away and even some shots on goal. Would be nice to end with some kind of SSG, nothing complicated. If it's done right, the kids will get enough cardio in the warm up. IMO, they don't need to stretch or do extra running. Incorporate the ball right away!
Give them a ball to dribble about with, then take away half and get them to pass to a partner whilst moving around to introduce some obstruction, then as has been said, set up a couple of 3v3 or 4v4 games of keepball. Dynamic stretches will happen automatically, it's the STATIC stretches the won't really need.
One thing to remember with young kids is that the respiratory system isn't developed until puberty so fitness training is pointless and they will run until they can't any more. They then need a break until they're ready again. Bear this in mind when doing your "warm-ups"...
There is no need to 'stretch' a 8/9 yr old or take them on long boring jogs!
1. Get them all to dribble a ball around a set area (20x20?) then shout '1', '2' or '3' at various stages. Each number can mean something different: Toe taps on the ball, Drag back and change direction, leave your ball and find another etc etc.
2. Put them into groups of 3 and play 'piggy in the middle catching game' whilst running around a set area. This gets them thinking about movement and space whilst warmng them up at the same time...and it's fun! The natural progression would be to replace the catching with passing.
I would only do these things for 10 mins maximum before going into the skills sessions then small sided games.
I set up to 5m squares beside each other (effectively a 5 x 10 with a line down the middle). Them 4 on each team. Each team in a square. One team of four starts with the ball and one member of the opposing team comes into there square to either win it or put it out. The ball than crosses over and the game begins again. 1 point for 5 completed passes focuses the mind.
We then move it on to an attacking defending game. 1 goal keeper 2 defenders who stand on the goal line corner of the goalkeepers area. I call out 3v2 or 1v1, 2v1, 2v2 etc and the attacking players attack the goal passing as the go. One good tip is to put a cone on each wing, the attacker who does not start with the ball has to run around that before he can get involved. It develops width.
8/9 year olds are naturally ready to go and definitely do not need dynamic stretches. This could do more harm than good. Ball at feet to get the motor skills working then a couple of types of Rondo to get the in the right frame of mind for game time. Plenty of touches and lots of movement and ensure that the goalkeeper is involved in everything. Nothing complicated. Let them enjoy the game. Kids should not be turning up prior to a game fearing a monster warm up.
I still believe it gets the players into a good mindset and good routine, so a bit of jogging/stretching wont harm them. Then agreed, straight into ballwork, dribbling in small areas and plenty of RONDO`s.
I would implement a session focusing on ball skills and passing alongside communication and possibly play a small sided game for positional awareness and being prepared for the game, although ensure they don`t burn out during the SSG, just something to get them working together. I wouldn`t necessarily focus on stretching too much as they should incorporate that in the ball skills and SSG but make it dynamic if you do implement it :) Finally, in the SSG, you could put balls at each end starting with the GK`s so they learn to be comfortable playing out from the back. Hope this helps and all the best! Scott
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The variety of sessions across sports - sometimes we steal session ideas from one sport and use them with another.
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