Some “warm up” thoughts.
Its a match day, and as with every match day before the kick off we have the “warm up”.
Pirlo notoriously hated the warm up and didn’t mince his words about his thoughts on the pre match warm up in his book.
The warm-up is often prepared to as movement preparation, and thats a term I quite like, warm up can be quite misleading at times but as Nick Winkleman has spoken about before the term warm up just implies warming up the body, and doesn’t take into account the nervous system or the specificity of the movements you will be executing within a session or for the purpose of this blog, the match. Nick makes some excellent points about movement preparation (and recovery!) here: Movement Prep & Recovery
The movement preparation is a crucial time for players and coaches alike and I believe you can get a real feel for the coming 90 mins of play. All players are different, some are loud, some are quiet it doesn’t mean one is better focussed than another, quite far from it, it’s just individual personalities and for some nerves.
But what consideration do you give to your warm up? Do you plan it? Are you as meticulous with the movement preparation as the game plan?
Ian Jeffreys (2007) proposed the “RAMP” protocol. (Article here: RAMP Protocol )
Raise – core temperature
Activate – key muscle groups
Mobilise – key muscle groups, soft tissues, dynamic stretches.
Potentiate – prepare for game, 4 v 4, 5 v 5, conditioned SSGs, plyometrics.
I like to use this simple pyramid when planning the pre match movement preparation using Jeffreys RAMP protocol.
Here are some other considerations when planning pre-match movement preparation:
Have the players been travelling a long distance? What is there occupation? Could they be sitting down for long periods? How are they moving as individuals?
Do these factors mean we may need to spend more time on mobilising players?
What are the weather conditions? in hot conditions do we need to raise core temperature as much as cold conditions? How much do we prioritise “pulse raising” dependent on the conditions?
Do we have players who may need more attention in the warm up? Does Player A have an injury history? Is Player B a slow starter?
How long are the players actually preparing for? And maybe more importantly are we going to lose the adaptations of the movement preparation by bringing them back in to the dressing are too early? We bring them in 8 minutes maximum before they are due to go back out, so that we don’t have a drop of core temperature etc and our players are also encouraged to sprint into 3 different positions when they enter the field of play before the game and after half time so that we know HR and core temperature is raised for kick off / re-start, as some league rules do not allow re-warming up on the pitch after the half time break.
These are just some of the considerations of movement preparation, and how we plan to ensure our players are ready to perform as soon as the whistle goes.
Here is a short videographic with some ideas for movement preparation: