How to get back into football after a period away
There are many reasons why people stop playing football. It could be injury related or due to work commitments, illness or a number of other reasons; however, for those who love playing the sport, there comes a time when they miss it and want to return.
Summer holidays and breaks in routine can mean fitness regimes go out of the window; however, exercising regularly can improve physical and mental health, as discussed in a recent article published in the Evening Standard.
Whatever level of football you wish to play at, it is important to manage your return properly and prepare yourself both physically and mentally.
If you haven’t played for a while or kept up your fitness, launching yourself into a game or even a training session could put a strain on your body and increase the chances of injury. Building up your fitness safely and slowly is key before you start playing; in addition, this will improve your confidence.
Even if you do exercise regularly, football involves twists and turns and sprinting, making players prone to injuries such as hamstring and thigh injuries. Even the action of kicking a ball over and over can damage these muscles, so building up the muscles and concentrating on these areas of the body is vital.
Stretch and recover
As with any sport, make sure you stretch properly before the game or training session begins. A good coach will always ensure time is factored in for this, with resources such as https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Football/Defending/Defending-the-Midfield-F602060.jsp providing a great range of soccer training drills and lesson plans for clubs, schools and individuals.
Always make sure you also warm down and stretch after the game to allow yourself time to recover, and don’t be surprised if you feel stiff after the first few times you play. Gentle exercise will stop your stiffening up completely, but don’t expect to be able to get straight back on the pitch the following day.
Football is a high energy-burning sport. Make sure you eat properly, as this will improve your performance. Eat at least three hours before the game and include carbs in your diet, which will release energy slowly. Taking on enough fluids before, during and after the game will also aid your recovery process and promote a good night’s sleep.