Site icon Tom Kurz's Weblog

Soccer and Yoga?

Soccer match on a cold October day. A cold northerly wind blows. The coach (school’s P.E. teacher) conducts the pregame warm-up. It begins with players (6th and 7th grade, from 12 to 13 years old) doing static stretches—first pulling arms across chest, then other arm stretches, followed by trunk stretches and leg stretches. The leg stretches for hamstrings and inner thighs are done sitting on cold grass (good thing it is not raining). I ask the coach’s assistant (another school teacher), what’s with this doing “yoga” outdoors in a freezing wind. He lets out a giggle….

After those static stretches the coach orders the players to get balls and practice. She doesn’t give specific directions, so the players run or walk or stand doing random things with the balls. After a while the coach tells them to practice shooting at the goal, so they do it in their usual random fashion.

After this “warm-up” the coach tells the players to stay warm as they await the beginning of the game. The coach tells them that warm muscles are more pliable than cold ones and so are less likely to be strained. The team loses the match to their better-trained opponents….

If you think this way of warming up happens only at the elementary school level, wait until I dig out some photos….

Exit mobile version