Soccer Conditioning and Stretching for Kids

By RonUsher | Uncategorized

Jul 05

Should Youth Soccer Players Be Doing This Stretch?

I see a lot of elementary school programs during the day.

Typically, when they do PE it is led by someone who is easily 100 pounds overweight. I do not think this person has much of a background in physical education, fitness or even exercise.

The first thing they always do is sit and stretch. They do this even if the class is a kindergarten or first grade class.

Now, I think for the teacher, stretching is probably a good idea. But not for younger kids.

At least not like that.

Now older kids typically do need flexibility work. I know that my 17 year old son is very tight and has some movement problems because of it.

What type of stretching should kids be doing?

Here are my flexibility basics for coaches:

  1. Do mobility exercises prior to stretching to warm-up muscles.
  2. Dynamic flexibility at the beginning of practice; passive stretching at the end (if appropriate).
  3. Partner stretches can injure athletes.
  4. Start at the top (neck) and work down (ankles).
  5. Standing stretches can develop strength and balance.
  6. If limbs are straight the stretch is more in the joints. If bent, focuses more on the muscle.
  7. Stretch a muscle, release, repeat
  8. Stretch and strengthening are a great combination for strength and flexibility.
  9. If it hurts, stop.
  10. Teach breath control with stretching.

Of course, each point could be an entire article. Which ones do you think are the most important?

I’m going to be coaching high school athletes this year and am looking forward to expanding on this list and seeing what I can add.

I’ve some ideas on teaching movement from the core and have some ideas from Scott Sonnen on ways that it can be taught.

Hey Coach, how about having your parents help you improve the soccer conditioning and fitness of your team?

Encourage them to grab my program so they can use fun, simple and easy exercises to develop their kids fitness, strength, speed and balance. Click the link to find out more!

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