(for practices and games)

The National Center for Sports Safety has important information about the limitations of stretching in reducing injury.

Static stretching, in which a player lengthens a muscle and holds that position for a set period of time, does not help avoid injuries and can actually increase them.  The exception is players who have flexibility problems such as tight hamstrings. These players can benefit from static stretching, but it should only be done on off-days and just after practices and games.

Pre-game preparation should include these activities to prepare the muscles:

  • Running patterns used in soccer - forward, backward, side shuffles, grapevines
  • Active soccer-specific movement patterns - kicking motion, lunges, hip rotations
  • More soccer specific activities - keep-away, shooting, long passes, etc.