Pre-match warm-up: how to approach it?

the heating It is the set of general and specific actions that are carried out prior to training or the match to adapt physically and mentally to the athlete with the aim of obtaining his maximum performance and prevent injuries.

In matches, the heating, It is the part where the player has to prepare to compete at the best possible level. Therefore, it is important that we as coaches know what routines and habits are appropriate to prepare our players in the best way.

There is essential goal in the warm-up that is shared whether it is prior to a training session or a match and, it is to prepare the player to perform in optimal conditions soccer activity.

Starting from this objective, it is easy detect when a warm up no has been successful: appear discomfort or injury muscular in the first minutes, there is an evident lack of concentration of the players, etc. Many coaches at a press conference use, in this situation, phrases like 'we didn't get into the game well'.

What can we do as coaches so that this does not happen? Can heating help prevent this from happening? What do my players need to get 100% out of every match?

Giving the importance it deserves to warming up before a game will help us prevent injuries, establish the right emotional context for the team to compete better and get the best out of each player. Although the warm-up is a collective act, we must not forget individuality, respecting what will allow each player to find their best feelings to optimally face the competition.

In sprints of 10 Y 20 meters, vertical jump and changes of direction in 3 warm-ups with different durations: 25, fifteen Y 8 min. The following results were observed.

The results showed that the players performed worse after warming up for 25 min. In the sprints of 10 Y twenty meters.

In the heating of 15 min. No improvements or losses in performance were observed while the protocol of 8 min. showed improved performance in sprints.

The players who warmed up during 25 minutes indicated a higher value of perceived exertion.

Therefore, excessively long pre-match warm-up protocols (>25 min.) seem to cause too much fatigue in the players.

It is concluded in his systematic review on injury prevention that the pre-match warm-up should be 15-20 min. of duration.

What will we play in the pre-match warm-up?


Joint mobility exercises prepare the muscles in order to prevent the joints from suffering during the main training. This is one of the reasons why these types of exercises are performed during the warm-up phase.


Proprioception exercises focus on training the body's automatic responses, which means better coordination and the ability to deal with unexpected situations during sports practice. At the same time, they can offer improvements in balance and orientation.


We are going to talk about warm-up as the set of exercises that is carried out prior to any physical activity where the effort requirement is higher than normal in order to start up all the athlete's organs and prepare them for maximum performance.


It is a routine based on jumps of all kinds and they are at the same time resistance, agility, speed and strength training, while also preventing future injuries. Jumps with one or both feet, rebounds, swings and rapid vertical and horizontal displacements can be combined.


They are the movements of the body that are made when moving from one side to another using different motor patterns. Being the body itself the means of transport. When movement is worked on, movement patterns and spatial-temporal perception are perfected.

Running technique

It is a physical effort that can directly influence performance, because in addition to improving running technique (its main objective), it indirectly provides other four benefits: improves strength in the ankles and legs; improves joint mobility of the foot and ankle; improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the race, which means more performance for the same effort; and greatly reduces the risk of injury (Achilles tendon, periostitis, plantar fasciitis and is more resistant to sprains). Within the running technique I include the Multi Jumps and the Ankle Exercises.

Address changes

Changes of direction are present in most sports, both individual and collective. On the other hand, we are used to training and evaluating speed in a straight line without giving importance to changes of direction, when these happen much more frequently in most sports.

You want to know more?

You can learn everything about this topic in our Master in Professional Soccer which is endorsed by the Catholic University of Ávila, an institution recognized worldwide.

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