Most coaches have changed with the times in regards to stretching players
in training. For years, players would do a series of static stretches
first and then go into their training regime. Then the idea of getting the
players muscles warm first, stop and perform a series of static stretches,
get the players back to running again only to stop and stretch another
For the youngest ages, stretching is not important. For the older age
groups coaches should incorporate some dynamic stretching along with
setting a tone or a “sneak preview” for what the session is going to be
Dynamic or Functional Stretching is warming up the muscles
specifically for the movements that will be used in the activities of the
training session. It is the type of stretching that runners will often use
before a race.
Each Functional exercise should be performed over a 15-20 yard area with a
walking or jogging recovery.
Here are just some of the Functional Stretching exercises you can
incorporate into your warm-up:
• Lunge Walk-Loosens up the hips. Lunge walk is when you take large
steps keeping the chest up, looking straight ahead and moving the arms and
• High Knees-For hip flexor and ankle strength. Extend up to the
toes and lift each thigh to a parallel position with the ground as you
• Calf Walk-For lower limb strength and Achilles flexibility.
Extend the ankle on each step will warm up the calf muscles and Achilles
ten don s.
• Sideways running-For lower limb strength, agility and
• Backwards skipping-Same as above and works on strengthening quads
and calf muscles.
should be done AFTER the training session in order to help speed up the
recovery process. This is the cooling down stage. Cooling down are easy
movements, light running, and more stretching. The cooling down stage of
training is something that all coaches need to include as part of their
This session will show a variety of activities to utilize in both the
warm-up and cool down stages of the training session.
partner up. While one player is dribbling a football around the area, their
partner is performing a functional stretching exercise like some
mentioned above. Players switch after thirty seconds.
There are seven more illustrated activities
in the complete session plan.
(or right click, 'save target as') to download the complete
session plan as a zipped up .pdf file