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HOW TO COOL DOWN
 
THE SESSION
 

The importance of cooling down from both a physical and mental point of view has already been discussed. Here is an example of how to structure a simple cool down program. Please note that this procedure should follow both training sessions and matches.

Running

Firstly, after the training session or match, the players should cover themselves up to keep warm. The first part of the cool down period involves low intensity running.

Length - At least 10 - 15 minutes
Tempo - Slow gentle jogging, no sharp changes of direction

Stretching

As 90 % of football related injuries affect the lower extremities of the body, stretching exercises for the leg muscles (hamstrings, quadriceps etc.) should be included in the second part of the cool down session. The players should spend stretch 2-3 minutes stretching these muscles.

To stretch, the muscle should be brought slowly to a fully stretched position and this held for about 10 seconds. The muscle can then be stretched slightly more and again, held for another 10 seconds. After stretching, the players should walk slowly back to the dressing room to let their legs return to normal.

Coming soon, illustrated diagrams on how to stretch for the warm-up and cool-down sessions.

To return to the warm-up and cool down menu click here.