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#7696 - 11/16/05 09:30 PM What age do you start stretching?
coachpaul Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/05
Posts: 52
Loc: connecticut
I just want to start a debate because it's something close to my heart!... what age do you guys think you should introduce any kind of stretching to your players and why?
How much do you introduce?

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#7697 - 11/16/05 09:37 PM Re: What age do you start stretching?
Skeech Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/30/05
Posts: 739
Loc: Where Seldom Is Heard...A Disc...
How about U3? Stretching is great for anyone at any age!

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#7698 - 11/16/05 09:50 PM Re: What age do you start stretching?
coachpaul Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/05
Posts: 52
Loc: connecticut
Funny!

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#7699 - 11/16/05 09:50 PM Re: What age do you start stretching?
henry180+ Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/05
Posts: 36
Loc: Highbury
Nice one skeech I think you are getting the british sense of humour slowly!!

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#7700 - 11/16/05 09:56 PM Re: What age do you start stretching?
coachpaul Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/05
Posts: 52
Loc: connecticut
Okay, so lets suppose you have a U6 team... do you realy want to spend 10 minutes doing a warmup and stretch when you have them for an hour twice a week?
Do you think it would be better to spend that time doing a non-directive, fun, ball feeling game working on the fundamentals such as dribbling or basic turns? (esp. when you don't start loosing flexibility until you're approx. 12/13?)

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#7701 - 11/16/05 10:46 PM Re: What age do you start stretching?
soccerspeed Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/21/03
Posts: 35
quote:
Originally posted by coachpaul:
I just want to start a debate because it's something close to my heart!... what age do you guys think you should introduce any kind of stretching to your players and why?
How much do you introduce?

Coach Paul,
Are you referring to stretching as intent to warmup? If so, younger players do not need any extensive formal warmup as do older players due to growth and maturation qualites. Players under age 9 can usually warmup within 10-15 minutes whereas older players should take up to 25 minutes and work up to game effort speed.


Also, I recently came across a study whose conclusion was that young athletes who were inflexible (statically measured) by the ages of 8-10 would stay this way unless a focused flexibility program was implemented. I will try and find the study and post the exact findings here for you as I think you may find it quite interesting.

Great post! I look foward to others input as well.

Coach Boone

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#7702 - 11/16/05 11:10 PM Re: What age do you start stretching?
coachpaul Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/05
Posts: 52
Loc: connecticut
Coach Boone,
I mean stretching as PART of a warm-up....
Players/People in general don't START loosing flexibility until they are approx 12/13, so is it worth implimenting team stretching as part of your warm-up before then?
Also, the fitter you are, the shorter the warm-up you need.

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#7703 - 11/17/05 12:07 AM Re: What age do you start stretching?
soccerspeed Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/21/03
Posts: 35
"I mean stretching as PART of a warm-up....
Players/People in general don't START loosing flexibility until they are approx 12/13"

Are you basing this on your own personal experience? I work with way too many athletes under the age of 12/13 that are not flexible. This may be due to growth spurts or as simple as sitting in school all day long and then coming straight to practice expecting to be intensly active right away.


"Also, the fitter you are, the shorter the warm-up you need."

Not sure I fully agree here either. By 'fitter' do you mean cardiovascular? I also work with athletes who are incredibly fit, but due to their muscle mass alone need a longer warm-up period.

Enjoying our chat!

Coach Boone

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#7704 - 11/17/05 02:52 AM Re: What age do you start stretching?
Taplow Offline
Member

Registered: 11/02/05
Posts: 182
Loc: Taplow, Berkshire
I understand the official age when players starts to loose their flexibility is 10

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#7705 - 11/17/05 03:27 AM Re: What age do you start stretching?
CoachKevinT Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 274
Loc: Plymouth, UK
I believe any form of stretching / warm up is a good thing at any age.

For the really young players / kids it can be quite lighthearted and fun, but is a good way of getting them all together at the start of the session and paying attention.

It also gets them into good habits as they get older, whereby they are not then inclined to want to grab all the footballs and blast them at the keeper, thus delaying the session etc.

I would normally introduce proper stretching (both dynamic and static) and a more intensive warm up from about U12, ending with a game realted activity.

[ November 17, 2005, 06:19: Message edited by: CoachKevinfromPlymouth ]

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