Saturday, July 01, 2006

Cooling Down Phase for Soccer Training - A Coach's Perspective and Focal Point

Cooling down,I term this the reflection phase. It is a time to prepare for physical and mental relaxation. This includes stretching and flexibility work as well as light group jogging and limbering down exercises.This is the time of mental reflection of the practice, game or even the day's events.This is especially neccesary while at and during tournaments

This important phase is usually over-looked by most teams as they are trying to either celebrate the win or discuss the loss and any related issues. If this aspect is incorporated every practice then it will be a natural process after the games as well. Yes the practices need to incorporate warm up as well as cool down. Apart from the physiology of increasing strength through stretching regimes. This helps the team members understand their bodies and it's needs.

It is also a great time for the coaches to get feed back on the events. This gets the team to contribute to their immediate experiences, whether is be a competition or practice. It helps everybody paint a mental picture of their collective accomplishments.

When a group of individuals gets together and focuses on something other than the immediate task at hand then the task becomes another routine within the training regime.This is switching the focus from the actual cooling down process and focuses on the socialization aspect of cooling down. It deals with the fresh experiences that have just occured. Let the team discuss the events first before the coach talks or the meeting is held in the locker room. Young minds need to also voice opinions to each other before they talk to the larger group. This helps build unity within and a power of responsibility throughout.

It is a time to also talk about the other aspects of sports activities. These are nutritional and additional aspects of concentrating on mental focus.

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