How to Battle through Tired Legs at the End of a Soccer Match

Wake up! Your soccer team needs you! - (Photo: Learningtojuggle.com)

The stern test of a soccer match often gets decided in the closing minutes of any game as players grow tired and the importance of stamina increases exponentially.  When games progress into added time, the match can be an absolute test of wills as players from both teams strain and fight for any inch of energy that could provide a breakthrough goal.  For any player, weary legs can be a mighty struggle, and while substitutions can provide an option, what happens when the entire team is worn out or the maximum substitutions have all been used up?  Players must dig deep and find help from inside themselves.  Here are some tips:

You want to make sure that your body has every fighting chance to stay in shape during the latter stages of a soccer match.  Several things will aid you in this quest.  Drink water before that match and during the game.  Don’t overdo it, because excess water can make your body cramp up, but do drink some water because your body will suffer and weaken through dehydration by the end of a game.

Another important thing is stretching. Before the game, stretches enable your muscles to get loose and handle the stresses of running around a field at high speeds.  But something players should do towards the end of games is to continue to stretch.  During breaks or downtime in a game, some simple stretching can help loosen the muscles that tighten over the course of a game.  When players get cramped or seize up, it is a problem that could have often been prevented with some light stretching just moments earlier.

Now that your body will be best equipped to deal with exhaustion, we have to work through the mental aspect of fighting through the end of a game.  The first thing you need to realize when you grow tired is that you cannot think about it.  When you think about the dreariness of your weary legs, your mind will increase the suffering you feel and wear you down even more.  Think about the game instead and how you are going to help your team make that final push or score that crucial goal.

Also, save your energy for when you absolutely need it.  Don’t go sprinting along when an opportunity hasn’t presented itself.  Save your energy for that one run that is needed to make the breakthrough.

Another thing that can help is looking to your teammates to provide and receive emotional support.  High-fiving and uplifting words can bring a lot of extra energy up within a player and provide the necessary motivation to battle through the pain.  Teams are here to help and assist each other, and this is a key reason why teams that get along with each other are often the most successful.  Emotional support can pay a huge dividend in the big game.

So next time that you feel a bit of exhaustion near the end of a soccer match, take a sip of water, stretch it out, forget about your pain, praise a struggling teammate, and brace yourself for the moments that your team will need you.  Soccer is about winning, and winners don’t get too tired.  They persevere and make the difference!


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