DO’S & DON’TS OF PRE-GAME WARM-UPS
By Austin Ardrey, runninref.com
Austin Ardrey is a personal trainer for many officials. Here is his advice for a pre‑game warm‑up.
We all know how crucial warming‑up is, but few of us really have a framework in which to implement when it matters the most.
Keep in mind that your warm‑up is specific preparation for the game ahead.
Let’s lay out the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of a pre‑game warm‑up.
Let’s start with the “Don’ts”
Time is of the essence
I don’t want to waste the valuable time that I have by adding fluff or movements that don’t prepare me for the specific movements that I will perform on the field.
Stretch it out – but how?
Static stretching gets a bad rap these days, and rightfully so. Static stretching can be fine in small doses, but for athletic performance and injury prevention I need to take my muscles through a dynamic warm‑up to prep my tissues correctly.
Foam rolling to failure
Foam rolling can be great for recovery and promoting blood flow to specific areas. It may even be great to add in when you are getting dressed in the locker room as supplemental. But it will not close the gap between sitting in the locker room and running full speed in the first minute of the game.
Now for the “Do’s”
Include Multi‑Directional Movements
As a Referee I need to be prepared to move in all directions. My warm‑up needs to reflect this. I think it is critical to add multi‑directional movements such as skips, shuffles, backpedals, etc to prepare my body to operate in this fashion.
Start slow – finish fast
A warm‑up should be designed with the intention to increase body temperature at a progressive pace so that I can safeguard myself from soft‑tissue injuries. I want to start with some of my slower movements first (i.e. marching, dynamic stretches) and progress through the warm‑up period to faster and more dynamic movements (i.e. skipping, sprinting)
Dare to sprint
The most important thing that I must be physically prepared for is to run at full speed. Contrary to popular belief, most muscular or soft tissue injuries do not happen as a product of “strength”, but as more of a product of “velocity or speed”. In order to safely sprint at full speed DURING the game, I need to sprint DURING my warm‑up period.
I suggest the ending portion of your warm‑up to have a few build‑up sprints right before gametime.
An example could look like this:
- 10 Yd Sprint – 75% Full speed
- 10 Yd Sprint – 85% Full speed
- 15 Yd Sprint – Full speed
This was a short list of things to keep in mind prior to game‑time. This list is not extensive and remember to cater your warm‑up to you and your needs.
And you can always reach out if you have any other questions or would like to go through a more extensive conversation about your warm‑up! Email me at Austin@runninref.com.
Let’s Get To Runnin’