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Get Directions to <b>RSC Lightning'96</b>Rochester Local Weather
RSC Lightning'96
Ken Hernandez
1460 W. University Ave
Suite 203
Rochester, Michigan

Warm Up: "WHY DO I NEED TO WARM UP?" & other such questions
Leave an elastic band in the freezer overnight. Take it out the next day, and pull on it hard. What will happen? It will snap. If you take it out of the freezer, and set it out at room temperature for the morning, you now have prepare the elastic ban to be stretched to its maximum. Your body and mind are no different.

It is vital that you prepare your body for rigorous activity with a pre-game or pre-training warm-up. Warm up is important in preparing the body for a higher energy production and preventing injury. It is also vital to get into the right mindset as the game approaches. A proper warm-up will bring your mind into focus and facilitate full concentration so you can achieve your maximum potential.

· Warming up helps gear-up energy production.
As exercise levels gradually increase with a warm up, the blood circulation adjusts to meet the new energy demands. Blood flow to the working muscle increases during exercise due to two responses:
the heart rate increases so more blood is pumped per minute than at rest and a greater percentage of the increased flow is sent to working tissue. The increased blood flow to the tissues is important as the blood brings with it more oxygen which can then be used in the aerobic system to produce energy.

The warm up allows the adaptation in blood circulation and oxygen delivery to occur gradually and in this way the increasing energy cost can be met predominantly by the aerobic system. If the player does not warm up and goes straight into an intense game, his energy requirement will increase suddenly from resting to a high level and the increase in energy will have to come from anaerobic glycolysis until the oxygen delivery system has time to adjust and deliver more oxygen to the muscles for aerobic energy production. Lactic acid (an end product of anaerobic glycolysis), is related to fatigue so the player who does not warm-up will feel fatigue sooner in a game than the warmed up athlete.

As exercise continues, deep body temperature rises causing an increasing in energy metabolism. For every 1 degree in Fahrenheit rise in cell temperature, metabolism increases 13%. This rise in temperature is also responsible for making it easier for oxygen to be released from the hemoglobin at the cell level, thus providing the cells with more oxygen. These adjustments along with the increased blood flow to the working tissue prepare the body for higher total energy production through aerobic metabolism.

· Warming up aids greatly in injury prevention.
Some muscle tears, strains, and soreness can be prevented by a thorough warm up. A stretching sequence as part of the warm-up can help prevent muscular injury by improving joint range of motion prior to play. The increased muscle temperature mentioned above also helps in injury prevention because after a warm up the nerve impulses are speeded up which in turn improves coordination. As one muscle group contracts, its opposite muscle group relaxes to allow the movement to occur. If the relaxation does not happen at the right time, injury will result.
A common example of this type of injury is a pulled hamstring (the muscle group at the back of the upper leg). A quick contraction of the quadriceps (the muscle group at the front of the thigh) to straighten the knee will injure the hamstring unless it relaxes at exactly the right time. Coordination of these movements is improved by the speeded up nerve impulse due to warm-up.

· As you warm up, you will be able to get yourself mentally ready for the training or game to follow.
                  "90% of the game is half mental." - Yogi Berra

Never underestimate the importance and power of mental preparation and putting yourself into the correct mindset in the quality of a performance. It is vital. The best player in the world will be of little use on the field if they are not "into" the game or if they are distracted from their game focus by outside influences.

Elite athletes have long advocated the conscious practice of mental preparation. Concentrated focus helps athletes work through all sorts of troubles, including distractions. And, by learning how to keep ones attention on certain things for extended periods of time, athletes find that they are able to tap into greater abilities and skills than they thought they had. This conscious effort of preparing your mind, of putting yourself in the right mindset, even as you prepare your body can make the difference between an average performance and a great one.

Warm up time varies with the individual and tends to increase with age. Allow between 15 and 30 minutes for the skill warm up period after the jogging and stretching and taper it off between 5 and 15 minutes before game time. Substitutes should stay warm on the sideline and complete at least one lap of the field, starting slowly and building to a run, before they are put in the game. On cold days, warm up should be longer and players should wear warm clothing right up till game time.

After intense exercise, a cool down period helps circulation, lactic acid levels, and other body functions to return to normal gradually.

If a soccer player suddenly stops moving after intense exercise, he will feel faint and possibly see stars. During exercise the blood vessels taking blood to working tissue expand along with the increase in heart rate and blood flow, during exercise the blood flow to the working tissues is 4 - 6 times higher than at rest. Muscle contraction aids in returning the blood to the heart so when the player suddenly stops running, blood gets stranded in the lower body and there is not enough to feed the brain, this causes a light-headed feeling and sometimes fainting.

Lactic acid levels can increase to five times their resting levels during intense exercise. The slow removal of the excess lactic acid can cause post-exercise soreness. To avoid this discomfort lactic acid levels should be lowered as soon as possible. While some lactic acid goes to the liver and is made into glucose, most of it reverts to pyruvate, enters the mitochondria and is broken down through the aerobic system to provide energy for low-intensity work. Inactivity after exercise lowers the need for energy and lactic acid clearance will be slowed considerably. But if the cool down consists of moderate to light exercise, the energy from the lactic acid will be used more rapidly and the post-exercise soreness will be less.

The 10 to 15 minute cool down period immediately after exercise should consist of one or two jogging laps of the field and a period of stretching. If the recovery exercise is too intense it will be of no benefit and may even prolong recovery by increasing the lactic acid build-up. Remember, the laps are not a victory charge, a race, punishment, or time to show how fit you are. Start them slowly and end even slower.

HOW DO I WARM UP? - I just dont know what to do.
Well, I'm here to help you. This is an excellent warm-up routine which, if done properly and intently, will fully prepare you for the match or training session so that you may be your very best that day. This is by no means the only good warm-up routine on the planet - but it is a great one and the one I want you to learn and use.

All throughout stretching and warm-up, take water at any point you feel you need it.

STRETCHING IS NOT A RACE - IT'S PREPARATION. There might be some people on your team that think warming up is a waste of time. If you have any doubts about warming up and stretching, just remember that ALL professional teams make their players warm up before practice and games. That's a big part of what keeps them healthy, and makes champions!

About 5-10 minutes from touchline to touchline to get blood flowing to the muscles and prepare your muscels for a proper stretch. The pace should be easy. This raises your body temperature. Jog slowly, perhaps skipping and moving sideways as well. Make no sudden bursts or movements-nice and easy does it. Change up the sort of jog each ½ turn across the field or so. Here are some variations to use:
· high knees
· high knees (with the "We Will Rock You" rhythm)
· heels to butt
· sideways-on right/left shuffel
· sideways-on right/left cross-over steps
· backward
· easy kick to high hands
· touch ground right/left
· phantom headers
· arm circles as you jog

When you are a bit warmer, try some of the stretching exercises described below.
Three types of stretches are used in soccer at youth level.

The Initial Stretch
Gradually stretch (lengthen) the muscle until you feel it fairly tight. Then hold it for at least 10 seconds. Do not bounce.

The Developmental Stretch
Stretch further than before and hold for 15 seconds. Everyone is different so be careful not to strain yourself.

PNF Stretching
Stretch using a partner (if you have one)-the extra resistance increases flexibility. Be very careful when you do this.

The Golden Rules of Stretching
· Never "bounce" when stretching. Do things slowly. If you feel any real pain, stop the stretch.
· Hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds.... MORE IF YOU NEED IT. You know your body the best. You know what you need more than I do. So if a particular muscle group needs more attention, then attent to it. Do not ignore your own body and do not cheat yourself of proper perparation because the only result of you doing so is that you will hurt yourself.
· Do a variety of stretches that will help you get ready for your soccer game.
· Remember that everyone is different - if you are not comfortable with a stretch, do another one or discuss it with Carlee or me - but do not avoid stretching altogether.


It is important to stretch your whole body for soccer, not just your lower body. These stretches will give you a good all-round preparation for your training or game. It is a good habit to stretch from the toes up to the head so as not to accidentally skip over any muscle groups.

Put one leg out in front of you and keep the other leg straight. Turn your ankle both ways, from side to side and up and down. Repeat. Remember to swap ankles too. Sit down and hold one leg and foot as shown. Gently turn your ankle. Repeat with the other ankle.

Stand an arm's length from a wall or goal post. Place one leg nearer to wall, feet facing forward. Bend the knee nearest the wall and keep the back knee straight. Lean forward-let your body tell you when to stop. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Repeat three times with each leg.

    Hamstrings (1)
These are the muscles at the back of your thigh. Sit down on the ground. Lean forward, grasp your ankles and hold for 10 seconds. Relax. Do this four or five times.

    Hamstrings (2)
Kneel down, keeping your other leg straight. Lean forward until you feel the stretch. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat with your other leg.

    Quadriceps (or Quads)
These muscles are the big muscles that cover the front of your thigh. Use a goal post, a wall, or a teammate to balance. Stand straight. Bend one leg and hold your ankle or the top of your foot. Pull your bent leg until your heel is close to your bottom. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 3 times with each leg.

    Groin (1)
For a soccer player particularly the groin is an important area to stretch. Sit down with knees apart, bring both feet together. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat three times.

    Groin (2)
With feet wide apart, squat to a sitting position and place hands on knees. Now slowly straighten one knee until you feel the groin muscle begin to stretch. Continue the stretch for a count of 12. Do this twice with each leg.

Lying flat on your back, lace your fingers across the back of your knee and pull your right knee up toward your right shoulder. (Do not pull from the front of your knee). Keep your other leg, lower back, and your shoulders flat to the ground. Hold for 15-20 seconds. Then pull your right knee toward your left shoulder in the same manner. Repeat with the left leg. Finally draw both knees up together and hold 15 seconds.

    Shoulders and Side (1)
Link your hands. Stand up straight and push upwards. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds. Repeat three times.

    Shoulders and Sides (2)
Put your right elbow behind your head and use your right hand to grasp your left shoulder. Now put your left hand on your right elbow. (Got all that?) Stretch to the side without leaning forwards (or backwards). Hold for 12 seconds. Repeat twice on each side.

    Shoulders and Side (3)
Link your lingers. Keep your body upright and your arms straight. Slowly push your arms backwards. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat twice.

Move your head from side to side (like shaking your head) and up and down (like nodding). Repeat five times.

After Stretching:
Jog a bit and move around again. Now it's time to ease into full game speed and intesity as you begin the 1000 touches portion of your warm-up.

Next Step - 1000 TOUCHES
Now it’s time to pick up the intensity and get “in touch” with the ball. Gradually work harder and faster so that you are fully warmed up before the session or game starts. Never sprint or kick the hall hard until you are fully warmed up. This entire 1000 Touches Warm Up should take bout 7-8 minutes.

120 BALL TAPS - for variety try these:
· move the ball around in different shapes
· tap some from the back & some from side to side
· go at double pace for 10-20 touches
· close your eyes for 10-20 touches

· Inside Roll
· Outside Roll

· Side to Side Push-Pull
· Side to Side Step-On
· Side to Side Front Roll

· Pull, Instep Push
· Pull a Vee
· Pull & take w/ outside of foot
· Pull & Roll Behind

· Pull Turn
· Drag-back
· Inside chop
· Outside Cut
· Cruyff
· Step-over Turn
· Step-on

· Hip Swivel
· Roll/Touch (Brush/Touch)
· Roll/Push (Brush/Push)
· Mathews (inside/outside)
· Reverse Mathews (outside/inside)
· Stepover
· Rivolino
· Scissors Behind (Swerve)
· Scissors Over Top
· Scissors In Front
· Cap (ba-dink)

Continue your warm-up using the ball for another 5 minutes using your very best stuff. Run your best moves. Try your fanciest tricks. Try your best to impress each other and anybody else who may be watching you. NOTE: This is the closest I will ever permit you to come to showboating - so you might as well take advantage of it. Here are some other ideas.
· Juggling - feet, thigh, chest and head. Stay loose and relaxed!
· Traps - toss the ball up high (or better yet, kick the ball up high from your juggle!) and bring it down under full control with a good trap & 1st touch (head, chest, thigh, foot) and then accelerate away for 10-15 yards then do a turn.
· Running with the ball – accelerate & decelerate under full control of the ball.
· Pattern Dribbling

· Dead Stop
· Inside of Boot
· Outside of Boot
· Dead Stop Trap
· Inside Leg Trap
· Chest Trap
· Inside Boot Punch-Back
· Instep Punch-Back

· One Touch
· Two Touch
· Three Touch

· Pass & Move Maximum Touches
· Pass & Move 2 Touches
· Pass & Move 1 Touch

· Accurate pass @ 20 yards
· Chip Pass (20+ yards)
· Instep Power Shot
· Volley
· Header

· 1-2 (Wall Pass)
· Overlap
· Thru Ball
· Takeover

Finally, organize several short sided games in confined space

Passers vs. defender(s) – change defenders with each turnover or every 30 seconds.
4v1; 3v1; 4v2; 5v2; 5v3; 2v2v2

Even sided keep-away or line soccer
3v3, 4v4 or 5v5

· Team Stretch - this very last Team Stretch is as much for bonding and ritual as much as anything else. It is generally during or immediately after this Team Stretch that we will re-cap that days focus and gather for our “Crash The Goal” battle-cry.

You should have been stretching and warming up for at least 30-40 minutes (longer if you can) so that when the game starts. You are warm. You are focused. You are prepared to win. You are all systems go!

After the match/training session:
After your training or game, remember to warm down. This is often forgotten but it is a vital part of your soccer training. After exercising your muscles, don't just go in and change straight away. Go for a light jog-include some skipping and sideways movements. Then repeat some of the stretches you did in your warm-up. Sometimes I may use this time to talk to you. The warm-down gives your body a chance to slow down after the stress of training or a game. 10 or 15 minutes would he ideal for this warm-down period.

to review: Keypoints of a proper warm-up
· Start with a light jog.
· Stretch carefully-hold stretches for at least 10 seconds... MORE IF YOU NEED IT. You know your body the best. You know what you need. Do not cheat yourself of proper perparation because the only result of you doing so is that you will hurt yourself.
· Do not bounce up and down.
· Stretch all parts of your body.
· Warm up gently with the ball.
· Increase your speed when warmed up.
· Warm down after the game/training session.

Alternative Stretches
Alternative stretches
In any facet of training, no matter the endeavor, whether it be athletic, academic, musical, artistic, etc. a balance must be struck between routine and variety. Both are important. Routine is important because it provides structure and an actual plan to get from one state of being to another – in our case from a cold state to a ready & prepared (both mentally and physically) state to train or play.

Variety is important so that you do not get bored from doing the VERY same thing over & over. To accomplish the same end in different ways. This is what keeps things fresh and interesting.
Therefore, you should feel free to incorporate these other example stretches into your own pre-practice/pre-game warm-up. Just make sure to Start off with some slow jog, and then to work each area of the body with an appropriate stretch. Keep in mind that it is a good habit to work your stretches from the bottom of the body to the top so as to not overlook anything.


What a DRAG!
In any sport there is a chance of injury. Most soccer players go through their careers with few problems. Even so, you should know how to avoid injuries and how to deal with them.

How Do Injuries Happen?

Most injuries are caused by carelessness, tiredness, not enough warm-up, bad ground, accidental collision and incorrect technique, such as not kicking or heading the ball properly. You can certainly avoid some of these and minimize the risk of others.


· Start with a good warm-up, including stretching. This will prevent a lot of strains and pulled muscles and also prepares you mentally for the game.
· Make sure your boots fit and are well worn-in. You don't want blisters or an awkward running style.
· The better your skills, the better your chance of avoiding injuries.
· Know and understand the rules.
· Keep focused on the game - oftentimes injuries could have been avioded but are not because of a lack of concentration to what’s happening around you.
· Try to "pace" yourself in a game - a lot of injures are caused when you are tired. Fatigue often causes lack of concentration. You must (1) learn to keep focused even when fatigued and (2) ask to be substituted if you cannot. You will learn to do this better as you play more competitive games.
· Make sure you wear your shinguards at training. Nowadays, you have to wear them in games, so "get real" and wear them at training. A mouth-guard will protect your teeth.
· Don't forget to warm down. After training or a game go for a slow jog and do some stretches. This helps to drop your heart rate and lets your body cool down slowly. It also helps prevent sore muscles the next day.


If you are training by yourself, you need to know what to do. If you are playing in a game your coach, manager or parent can help.

Most injuries are strains, bruises and sprains. These are called soft-tissue injuries. You may also get cuts or nose bleeds. If you are very unlucky you might break a bone, a hard-tissue injury.

Remember the word "R I C E":

Rest -
    Get yourself comfortable.

Ice -
    Ice packs should be placed on for a maximum of 10 minutes and can be reapplied when the damaged area becomes warm again. Do not apply ice directly onto the skin, as this may cause damage tissue. Always use a barrier, such as cloth, between the ice pack and the skin to help protect tissue. Heat treatments should not be applied to soft tissue injuries for the first 72 hours.

Compress -
    Use a bandage to compress the ice. Don't make the bandage too tight and don't leave the ice on for too long.

Elevate -
    Lift the limb up. This helps to slow down the flow of blood.

Always see a doctor for further advice. It is important not to start playing again too soon after an injury.


Clean the wound and stop the bleeding by lifting the limb higher than the heart and putting some pressure on the wound if it keeps bleeding. Get a doctor quickly if it is serious. For nosebleeds, pinch the soft part of the nose and lean forward. Clean the blood from around the nose and mouth. Sit this way for at least 20 minutes - if the bleeding does not stop, see a doctor.


For these, you need qualified medical assistance. A doctor will tell you when you can start playing again.

· R I C E - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
· A good warm-up and stretch helps avoid injuries.
· Be fit, pace yourself and improve your skills to avoid injury.
· Keep focused on the task at hand to avoid injury.
· Seek medical advice for all serious injuries.
· Don't forget to warm down.

Rochester Pride - RSC Lightning '96
Rochester Pride - RSC Lightning '96
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