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The preparation for the match is certainly a key phase to arrive with the proper psyco-physical equilibrium to the opening whistle. The 4 major aspects for the proper preparation of the match are:  


  • Nutrition phase 

  • Physical activation

  • Stretching

  • Mind activation



The presentation of the player is influenced by the type of nutrition that precedes the match. Here there are 5 simple rules to follow a proper eating before the match 

  1. Starchy foods (pasta, rice, potatoes and bread) these foods will provide  the adequate intake of energy for the body

  2. Avoid, if possible, protein-rich foods (meat, eggs, cheese) and fatty foods (butter, oil, margarine), they will slow and difficult digestion 

  3. Avoid drinking alcohol 24 hours before the match, it is difficult for the body to assimilate it and it increases sweating with no benefit

  4. Eat at least 2 hours before starting any physical activity, allowing the proper digestion

  5. For quick digestion it is needed to pay attention to the combination of foods. Do not eat two different types of protein foods such as cheese and eggs and so on...avoid complex fatty foods and do not eat fruit for dessert


Remember that there is no food that eaten before the match helps improve sports performance. There is only one proper and rational eating to favor physical activity.


Physical activation:

This phase aims to increase body temperature and the general activation of the whole organism. There can be three different phases for the proper physical warm-up

  1. “Break the breath” . In this phase the primary objective is to create an oxygen debt in the body, players need to do anaerobic exercises at a medium pace. Our body need for oxygen must be recovered in the successive minutes with a decrease in the level of work 

  2. "High knee running...”. Now we try to recover the partial oxygen debt through a low intensity and the muscle activation either to prevent injuries or to give the proper elasticity. Mobility is a fundamental phase for the right muscle activation

  3. “Reactivity. In this phase some brief exercises will be executed with changes in direction to give the appropriate charge and reactivity to the muscle. 5 meter and 3 meter sprints with changes in direction, and so on


EXAMPLE od physical warm up:

  • Race at constant rhythm with changes in direction alternating mobility for a total of 5 minutes

  • Mobility, static stretching, dynamic stretching for 8 minutes

  • 5 vs 5 match in a reduced pitch and exercises with the ball for 5 minutes

  • Reactivity and exercise for speed for 3 minutes




In the static stretching it is better to keep positions that are not too difficult to maintain, reaching them in a controlled manner without putting the interested muscles under stress

Once the position is reached, keep it from 10 to 20 seconds. It is advised to perform stretching when the muscles start to get warm up
Rules for a proper stretching:

  • Keep a constant stretching from 10 to 20 seconds

  • During the whole execution the athlete movement has to pay attention to the signals sent by the body and behave accordingly

  • During stretching do not swing, it creates small injuries in the muscles

  • Compensate one position with the opposite

  • Follow the logical sequence in the stretching exercises


Mind activation:

This is probably the most important phase during the pre-match warm up. It seems fundamental to work on the mind of the players these typical skills that they would have to execute during the match. Short passes, long passes, touches, shooting to goal are some of the movements that will allow the athlete to activate the right technical skills. The situation to gather all of this skills is a match, eliminating the goalkeepers, a 5vs5 can be set in a reduced pitch. We can add limitation to the touches so that it recreates the pressure and the possible situations that might happen in a match.