Wellness Tips

Soccer Tips for Athletes

Soccer season is upon us. Training camps are starting, it’s time to start conditioning and getting ready for the season. Peter DeLuca, MD, Chief of Sports Medicine at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center, shares his tips to help prevent injury and start the season off on the right foot. 

Prevent Dehydration

  • Proper hydration improves performance, prevents muscle cramps/fatigue, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and decreases muscle injuries. 
  • It’s recommended to drink before, during and after your workout.
    • Drink 7-12 oz of cold fluid 15-30 minutes before.
    • Drink 4-8 oz every 15-20 minutes during.
  • Weigh yourself before and after workouts.
    • Losing just 2% of total body weight will affect performance.
    • Guidelines for after your after-work out state for every pound lost during activity, drink 0.5 liters of fluid.
  • Avoid caffeine drinks especially energy drinks.
  • Drink fluids with electrolytes.


  • Benefits: Improve range of motion, decrease stiffness of muscles and ligaments, improves performance, decreases post-workout muscle soreness and decreases muscle injuries.
  • Different kind of stretches: dynamic and static.
    • Dynamic stretch: controlled movements that prepare your muscles and ligaments.
      • Improves speed, agility and acceleration.
      • Perform these types of dynamic stretches BEFORE activity.
      • Prior to doing a dynamic stretch, you should perform 5-10 minutes of low to moderate exercise like jogging, jumping jacks etc.
      • Examples include torso twist and walking lunges.
    • Static stretch: Hold stretch for 20-45 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.
      • Perform these types of stretches AFTER exercise as part of your cool down.
      • Static stretch before activity has been shown to decrease performance.


  • Interval jog and sprints.
  • Sprints, including pulling a sled.
  • Plyometric exercises to improve explosiveness.
  • Agility drills.
  • Core stability exercises.
  • Strength training.
  • Recovery time,

*All of these exercises will not only improve performance but decrease injuries such as ACL tears

Wear Proper Equipment

  • Wear properly fitting shin guards.
  • Wear turf shoes, not cleats, on fluid turf as this has been shown to decrease ACL tears.


  • Athletes need to replace the calories that were expended during activity.
  • In general, your diet should include carbohydrates (45-65% of calories), protein (10-35% of calories) and fat (20-35% of calories).
  • Endurance athletes need more carbohydrates.
  • Strength athletes need more protein.

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