Soccer is now a power and speed game and is very physical regardless the age you play. After a game there is lactic acid build up, tired limbs and depleted energy stores.
Seven Recovery Tips to Maintain your Soccer Fitness:
1) Post game recovery should begin immediately after with a light “warm down”. This may be in the form of a light jog or light movements from a dynamic warm up. This could include “butt” kicks, forward and backward skips and side to side shuffles. Take ten to fifteen minutes and do these at a slow and steady pace.
These movements help prevent blood pooling in the legs and use lactic acid for energy. With or with out this “warm” down, lactic is out of the system in two hours post activity.
If you are feeling sore the next day, that is a result of micro-tearing and inflammation. Not lactic acid. This is also known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
2) Soccer fitness is greatly affected by post game nutrition. It is vital that immediately after the cool down either a meal or shake containing protein and carbohydrate be consumed immediately. If this does not occur, the body will break down protein not fat, for energy.
3) If time permits perform static stretching two hours post game or training. The muscles are more receptive to being stretched as compared to immediately after a game when muscle is easier to tear.
4) Sports massage for post game recovery is excellent for both your mind and body. This is most effective two hours after your game.
5) You must get at least eight hours of sleep. Your body does most of its post game recovery while you sleep. The body is at rest and is able to repair itself from damage done during the game.
If you do not get enough sleep the body releases a hormone called cortisol. It breaks down protein for energy instead of fat. If this occurs over a long period of time your muscles lose strength, your immune system drops and your body gets weaker
Keep in mind that your post game recovery is only as good as what you do during the week for your soccer fitness.
6. Low intensity training with a soccer ball the next day or a light work out. You must avoid any type of high intensity work out. Save that for two to three days after your game. Your body is still in recovery mode and you will only burn out physically, mentally and emotionally.
7. Rest. You may just want to go for walk. Take it easy and enjoy healthy meals to prepare you for the next days training.
By following these seven post game recovery tips your soccer fitness will improve over the soccer