Exercise Discipline

It's simple, whatever the referee says, it goes. Avoid getting yellow cards or getting sent off by learning to rise above poor decisions. If you get fouled, pick yourself up and get on with the game, lashing out at your opponent can end with your team playing with ten men, and you not being popular with your team-mates.

I'm personally not good at team sports, as I don't like to lose because of a weak link within the team. What I'm now learning to do, is to find that weak link and rectify it. If it means dropping a team member because there is a stronger player, then accept the coach's / managers choice and simply ask what you need to do to get your place back.

Too many players once dropped have a completely negative attitude, look upon it as a challenge to prove your coach wrong. Train wiser and smarter than before, show commitment to your team, and even if you don't make the first team, at least you can respect yourself for trying and giving 100 percent.

Stretching

As with most sports, people forget to stretch prior to the start of the game. With football having sudden bursts at any point in the game, it is vital to stretch the whole body in order to prevent injury. After a gradual warm-up spend time stretching, both statically; then Dynamically. The Netfit Members Stretching area has warm up and stretching advice designed for Football, to help improve your game and prevent injury.

Dynamic stretching involves slow controlled rhythmic movements progressing through the range of movements associated with your game. A section on dynamic stretching will be added to the site.

A key point to remember is at the half time stage in a match, keep warm, take in fluid and energy bars that you are used to, to help your energy and concentration levels. Whilst listening to any team tactics, keep stretching your muscles and if possible, learn how to massage your own legs to help prevent injury and prepare yourself for the start of the game.

At the end of your game, spend time again stretching after you have showered / bathed, paying particular attention to your hamstrings. Due to the nature of the game, you will always pick up injuries, avoid these as much as possible by wearing correct protection and footwear. Have any injuries looked at as soon as possible, as minor tears become major ones, resulting in fewer matches for you.

Take the time to train well, and you will get more out of your game!

The next page has a training log to help you monitor your fitness progression.

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