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Match Recovery

The key to any successful soccer player, whether professional, college or youth, is your recovery after a match. The first 30 minutes when the match ends is vital for your recovery. As a soccer player, your body can push itself to the limit during the match, especially at the youth level where you are potentially playing two to three matches in one weekend! At the collegiate level, you can be playing three games a week with very little time to recover in between. At the professional level, you can play anywhere from one game to three games a week! The intense match schedule with the amount of energy your body exerts during a match makes your recovery routine even more important.
After The Match
Step 1. A proper cool down following the match
  • Light jogs across the field (20%-30%)
  • Regress to walking across the field
Step 2. Seven to Ten Minutes of static stretching
  • Hamstring Stretching
  • Quad Stretches
  • Glutes
  • Groin
  • Lower Back Stretches
  • Calves
Step 3. Hydration
  • Sport Drinks
    • Gatorade and PowerAde
    • NO SODA
Step 4. Recovery Drink
  • Protein shake
  • Chocolate milk
Step 5. Ice Bath if available
Step 6. Eat a good meal!
  • Avoid fast food, IE Mcdonalds, Wendy’s
  • Eat carbs and healthy fats
    • Salmon, Tuna, Eggs, Beef and Pork
Step 7. Rest and Sleep!
  • Stay off your feet, watch TV and relax
  • Sleep a minimum 8 hours
    • This is most important, sleep lets your muscles recover
The Following Day
It is the following day and you are most likely physically and emotionally drained. Soccer matches can take a lot of you and you will be tired the following day. How can you cope with this? The best thing to do for your body is to be active in the appropriate manner. Sitting around and relaxing is good for a little bit but if you do that for the whole day following a match, your muscles will never loosen up and you will find yourself being sore and stiff for a few more extra days. The following steps will help lead you in recovery the day after a match.
Step 1. Start by going for a walk
  • 10-15 minutes and get your legs active again
Step 2. Repeat the stretches you did following the game
  • Hamstring Stretching
  • Quad Stretches
  • Glutes
  • Groin
  • Lower Back Stretches
  • Calves
**** use a foam roller to roll your muscles out if available
Step 3. Five to Ten minute slow jog
  • Start at 30% and gradually increase to 60%
  • Your goal should be to break a sweat and you will feel your legs loosening up
Step 4. Light ball work
  • Dribbling around cones
  • Partner juggling
  • 10-15 yard passes with a partner
Step 5. Repeat the stretches from before
  • Hamstring Stretching
  • Quad Stretches
  • Glutes
  • Groin
  • Lower Back Stretches
  • Calves
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PA West Soccer Association | 111 Whitehead Lane, Suite 200 | Monroeville, PA 15146