Soccer is back, Hooray!!!! Now the season has started with a bang and very little notice.  You’re probably reading this because the lack of exercise over the last few months has meant the struggle is real on the field right now.  Here’s a handy list of tips to help you stay injury free on the field and recover faster between games.

1. Warm up before the game!

For real though.  Tying shoelaces and putting your jersey on does not count as a warm up.  Warming up WILL help to prevent injury, wake your muscles up to play and increase your performance.  Here’s an awesome video on how to do a proper warm up before you train or play

2. Don’t stretch before playing!

Doing static stretches before training or playing is like the equivalent of having a spa day to prep for an exam.  Dynamic stretches are your friend before a game or training.

3. Stretch after training or playing

Before you’ve driven home and your muscles have gone cold, remember to streeeeetch.  Your muscles will thank you later!  Check out this awesome list of stretches for soccer players.


4. Hit the showers afterwards

Not just because you’re sweaty and smelly.  Having a hot shower will be awesome for relaxing the muscles.  If you’ve got epson salts or magnesium bath flakes and a bathtub to do a muscle soak, even the better!

5. Feeling stiff or sore the next day?

It seems counter intuitive but doing something nice and light to get the muscles moving and the blood flowing will help you feel less stiff.  Going for a cruisy walk for coffee or doing yoga (if you’re that way inclined) is going to speed up your recovery, and it’s a nice way to take your mind of the pain.

6. Being subbed off in the game?

When subbing off, or during half-time remember to chuck a jacket on and keep moving a bit to keep your muscles from cooling down.

7. Shin splints?

Compression socks are awesome.  Getting a remedial massage will help to ease the painful symptoms.  Physios will help to give strengthening exercises and look at the cause of the problem.

8. Make sure to have good soccer boots!

Just because the outside of the boots still look decent, doesn’t mean the inside is.  If you can’t afford new boots, go to Athletes Foot for some new insoles.  As soccer is a game that is highly reliant on your feet, it’s important not to neglect them, as this can cause problems and injury.

Soccer boots

9. Strapping injuries?

Use Kinesio tape instead of the old-fashioned rigid tape when strapping injuries before the game.  This supports the injury while still allowing movement.  Kinesio Tape comes in a few different brands, the most popular being K-Tape or Rock Tape and is available at pharmacies and sports stores.  You can Youtube how to strap pretty much anywhere on the body and leave it on for a few days at a time. Here’s a quick video with more info on Kinesio tape…

10. Got an injury? (new or old)

Book in with a physio ASAP!  The quicker you get onto it and the more you follow their advice, the sooner you’ll be back on the field and playing to your full ability.  I highly recommend Chris from Terrace Physio as he’s super passionate about working with sports injury prevention and rehabilitation, and an all round legend.

11. Lower back giving out while playing?

Does your lower back feel weak when playing, or sometimes give out on you? Don’t worry, this is pretty common, and doesn’t mean you’re just getting old (in fact it happens to me too)!  Check out this video on some simple quick core strengthening you can do at home for freeee.

12. Make friends with your foam roller

You can foam roll your legs and lower back before a game to increase blood circulation in them, or during the week to loosen up muscles.  It’s kind of like giving yourself a free massage (except it’s a tad more uncomfortable than an actual massage).

Roll it out

13. Foam rolling too painful?

Try using a tennis ball or some other smallish ball to roll around on.  You can use either the ground to roll on, or the wall if you need a little less pressure.

14. Get regular massage

Remedial massage can loosen up tight muscles before injury occurs.  It’s much easier to fix something before it becomes a problem than afterwards.  Massage can also help with those sore spots so that you’re not running on to the field in pain before the game has even begun!  To book your next massage, click the button below.

15. And most importantly!

Remember to have fun!!!