Injuries are a part of soccer, all you can do is get in shape, stretch and eat properly, and hope for the best. Here are 3 of the best ways to avoid soccer injuries.

1. DYNAMIC WARM UP

A dynamic warm up prepares the athlete in a slow, gradual controlled way. This will include movements that are used in a soccer game. These types of movements focus on dynamic range of motion. An example of this is bringing the heels to the buttocks or raising the knee to hip height then moving the knee away from the body as in opening up to receive a pass.

“Static” stretching (holding the muscles in a lengthened position for 30 seconds) is somewhat outdated. Research has shown that his type of stretching before activity may reduce power and strength.

2. WARM DOWN /COOL DOWN

A proper warm down/cool down includes a lighter version of the dynamic warm up. This prevents blood from pooling and staying at the ankles. Soccer players may do some “static” stretching with the focus on the muscles they feel are tight.

A cool down decreases the amount of lactic acid buildup therefore decreases any pain or stiffness. This aids in the maintenance of the muscles’ flexibility.

3. NUTRITION

Proper nutritional habits formed on a daily basis maintain body function, minimize fatigue and decrease recovery time from injury. Water needs to be consumed at half time in a game. Athletes consuming pop and chips on a regular basis tend to fade towards the end of the game.

The current trend with athletes is to have 6-8 feeding opportunities or eat every 2-3 hours. Each meal should contain a complete protein with vegetables and/or fruits as the source of carbohydrates.

It is important that young players avoid hot dogs, hamburgers and fries at youth soccer tournaments. These types of food load the stomach and take a lot of time to be digested and absorbed into the body.

It is important for both youth soccer players and coaches to be aware of the things they have control over to avoid soccer injuries. These simple suggestions are easy to implement into your current soccer season, get more tips for building soccer strength and power