Age Appropriate Warm Ups

| Posted inWeekly Blog
One warm up doesn’t fit all.  From younger players to more senior players you should tailor a warm up that suits the level and age group of your team.
Senior players require a longer warm up rather than ball work.  For example,  for a team in a lower division and more than half of the team fall into the over 30 age group a good idea would be to do a 20 minute dynamic warm up with only 10 minutes ball work and shooting.
For juniors, under 12’s, these players only require a 20 minute warm up that is based on stretching, a little bit of running, lots of ball work and shooting.  This warm up will be shorter when teams play in representative carnivals.
Players in more elite competitions require a full warm up that comprises of dynamic, running, ball work, defence, attack and shooting.  Also elite competitors will have a longer time to prepare mentally as well as physically.
When constructing your warm up it is a good idea to consult with your team and ask them is there any drill they specifically would like in their warm up routine.  Some ball drills will assist in concentration and focus.  These drills are the ones that don’t take too much thinking and try to eliminate difficult drills that will confuse players who then take their confusion into the first quarter.
I believe players should feel like they have played a quarter before they go on as so many teams take the first quarter to warm up.  Many teams that have a comprehensive warm up do have a powerful first quarter which can be the confidence a team needs to go on and finish with a win.  To have a great first quarter means you’re not playing catch up.
Think about your preparation before your game.  Confirm to the players what they have been working on at training reminding them of their personal goals and team goals and from watching the warm up make sure every starting seven player is ready.   I notice many coaches chat and do not watch their team warm up.  This is an essential part of your game plan as if a player is dropping the ball, limping, coughing etc you may decide to make a change to your starting line up.
I also don’t name my team until about five minutes before they go on.  This makes for a solid warm up with 100% from every player.  Some players can drop off in the warm up if they know they are not on.
Warm ups are part of the game.  Give your team an advantage with a thorough warm up to assist them to go on and be the best they can be.