Injury Prevention and Functional Warm-up

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The main goal of youth sports is to let kids grow and develop with some fun and competition.  As coaches there are some things we can do to help kids stay away from injury.  The most important thing to teach kids is how to move well.  Good movement patterns can set kids up for success, improved athletic performance, and decreased injury rates. 

The main goal I tried to impart with the injury prevention training was to give you as a coach an idea of little things you can do to help your athletes move well.  Below are some of the big things to take away from the training.

Athletic Position

A good thing to teach your athletes is good athletic position.  If they can get this down, all of the other movements we try to teach are easy.

Avoid Letting the Knees Collapse In

Whether it is jumping, landing, or changing direction, letting the knees come in puts them at increased risk for injury.  Try to emphasize keeping the knees over the ankles when you work on jumping, landing, and changing direction.

Younger Kids Just Need to Work on the Basics

Younger kids need to learn how to use their bodies.  Put them in drills and situations where they must balance on one foot, change direction, jump, skip, etc.  This helps to set them up for success later in their development.   Below are a few ideas on how to do this with younger kids. 

Warm-Up Appropriately

This is where I focused my training.  Getting the body ready to move while cuing appropriate movement patterns will help keep kids moving.  Below is a diagram of the field and then a video of the warm-up activity. 

Warm-up Demonstration

Below is a video demonstration of the warm-up performed during the coaches training.  

Keep Learning

If you have any other questions about how to further incorporate injury prevention or athletic development strategies into your season, please let me know.  Feel free to explore my site and see some of the other articles I have posted and continue to follow us on Facebook for more articles and quick info on sport, injury, activity, and ways to improve all the previously listed.  Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or if you need any other assistance.  My help is not limited to soccer and my practice is able to treat injuries, aches, and pains from head to toe. 

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