Warming up your body before any intense physical activity―be it a sport or a gym workout is imperative. Doing the warm up helps loosen stiff muscles and joints. It also imparts a certain flexibility to the limbs which prevents injuries. In short, it gets a player into the playing mode. Nevertheless, talking of warm ups, drills are an essential part of training.
# 1: In this drill, all the players get hold of a ball, and then they hold it slightly away from the body. At the same time, they make an attempt to hit the ball with their knees and not their feet. This is done for around 30 seconds, and they are expected to use alternate knees. Fantastic for quads, these are chiefly responsible for imparting power to the knee lifts of the players. Moreover, the hamstring muscles and the groin area too would be given a good stretch.
#2: Players here are asked by the coach to form a circle of around 20 yards, and a cone will be placed in the circle. Each player then has to ensure that he is an arm's width away from the players on his either sides. The coach then asks everyone to jog in together up to the cone, and then jog backwards till the outer edge of the circle. The coach can vary the runs to the center and back in the form of high knees, sidestepping, heel flicks hopping, lunges, and so on.
#3: Akin to tennis, the aim of this drill is to play the ball between 2 teams, which can have players from 1 to 4 per team. A barrier will be set to act as the net, wherein the ball would be played back and forth between the 2 sides. The catch is not to let the ball touch the ground, hence, the players can juggle, pass or do anything as far as the ball crosses the net. Touch control and passing in the air are improved by this drill.
#4: This is a good drill for kids. First, square sections have to be marked out using cones, measuring 10 x 10 meters. The players, or rather the children, are then divided into teams of 6, where 3 are attackers and 3 are defenders. The job of the attackers is to concentrate on the ball and keep possession, and the defenders have to intercept the ball. After 2 minutes, the coach will whistle and the roles will be exchanged. The drill will continue for 8 minutes.
#5: A combination of multiple exercises and soccer moves, again makes for a fantastic warm up. A coach will have a makeshift obstacle course. That will involve setting up various stations, which need the players to inculcate and develop skills in a good, structured routine. For instance, juggling for some time, dribbling through cones, sprinting, jumping for headers, push ups, etc. A relay race can also be done in the same manner, and to add fun to it, 2 teams can compete with each other.
Besides a good warm up, these drills impart agility and improve the skills of the players. It also makes them mentally prepared and focused on the practice session at hand.