Your bag is all packed and ready to go. Arriving to the field, you see your teammates and hurry to join them. Whether it’s a soccer match or practice, having a proper warmup is necessary before diving into physical activity.
However, it’s not just about the physical preparation. There’s a mental aspect to soccer and it’s important to sharpen your mind. With the constant motion of the game, players need to have a quick mind to adjust with the movements of other players around them, as well as the ball. A sharp mind can also help with making smart decisions during play.
Professional soccer defender Emily Sonnett knows all about this and has a few tips on properly preparing for training and matches. As soon as Sonnett finishes strapping on her cleats and adjusting her shin guards, she warms up with a few minutes of juggling, soccer style.
Juggling the soccer ball is when you tap the ball repeatedly with your feet. A great way to start juggling for beginners is the one-bounce juggle. As you begin to keep the ball off the ground, advance your move by sitting down on the ground and completing the magic touch juggle.
Don’t forget to add dynamic warmups to your pregame or practice routine. Dynamic warmups for soccer players can include high-knees, lateral hip swings and ankle rotations. Learn how to complete these warmups and more with our Pro Tips guide to dynamic warmups for soccer players.
SONNETT’S MENTAL PREPARATION TIPS
Sonnett uses her mental preparation to remind herself of the importance of maintaining composure. Sonnett’s tips for staying poised on the pitch for 90 minutes include:
- Organizing teammates.
- Keeping teammates accountable.
- Sticking with the game plan.
All soccer players, regardless of position, should be in constant communication with their teammates. It takes 11 players to get the job done on the pitch. Defenders need to communicate with forwards, midfielders and their goalkeeper to keep operations running smoothly.
Defenders have the capabilities to become team leaders, too. Listen to soccer professional Becky Sauerbrunn talk about what being a leader means to her. Sauerbrunn also has tips and tricks for defenders, including pointers on how to defend in a one-on-one scenario.