So many articles focus on a warm up for practices but I feel that the cool down is equally important. This is a routine I have my team follow at the end of all our practices. Indeed, above all, cool downs can help players to keep playing, and not being side-lined with muscle injuries.
Cool Down Exercises
1. Muscles need to be worked to get new oxygen in and remove the waste by-products of exercising. Do make players run a lap around the field of playing, then sit them in a circle and ask them to stretch their muscles to get fresh blood in them as it help strengthen them.
2. Arm windmills, neck circles and hurdler’s stretches are a must in this drill. Twisting exercises that stretch the side muscles and back also are good. Take the lead and give an example — sit on the ground, placing the foot of a bent leg on the opposite side of an outstretched leg’s knee, and twist the other way. A good cool down will help cool the muscles and slow the heart rate. Do not over stretch in the cool down phase since the muscles are being relaxed. If any sore spots are found during stretching, apply ice. Cool downs are also a time to reflect on the practice, on what went well, and what may need improvement.
Certainly, the warm up and cool down periods are very important since they help to prevent injuries. So make sure that players spend time stretching and cooling down.
3. All the activities must be accomplished as planned as quality will bring efficient results and peak success.
4. Wrap up the practice session for the day.