EXCITING, POWERFUL, EFFECTIVE, INTERESTING or
Boring, lose standing, quickly done, social time
How then can we optimize a warm-up phase?
Is the importance of periodization of the warm-up content in place?
Gone are the days where sports coaches send the message to athletes that the warm-up is not as important as the main practice. It cannot be expected anymore of athletes to just make sure they are warmed up before the session. Better education and knowledge now get rid of the “lets come up with something for the warm-up”. Coaches need to find the best strategies for the general warm-up and the specific warm-up for individual athletes/clients at a specific point in time.
A well-designed warm-up will provide athletes with an interesting, effective and enjoyable experience. A mere 10 minutes on the stationary bike or a lap around the field is simply not enough. It sure warms your body but it can be much more productive and injury preventative. Athletes rely on their bodies to achieve success and also make a living. The design of the warm-up must be done with the main practice as the pathway. It is not two lose standing entities. E.g. a pure speed session and a positional play with passing patterns session will have two totally different warm-up structures. So will a strength- and an endurance session.
Athletes need to look forward to the warm-up. They also need to feel the difference in their bodies and practices, which an effective warm-up brings. For an outstanding practice session, the warm-up needs to be a well planned, well structured very important section of the practice. Improvement in the overall warm-up design to enhance performance during the practice, is very important.
A successful warm-up will make every single component of the training session as productive as possible. This means more individualization and less generalization of warm-ups. Furthermore, a successful warm-up should be so well created, interesting and exciting that if a few more sets get done, it would feel like a great practice!