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Tip of the Day from Performance Specialist Stacey Daniels

Warm-up and proper body preparation is extremely important for not only optimal performance but injury prevention and mental awareness. A common misconception is that warm-up has to be 10-20 min long. If you enjoy the solitude of creating a slower rhythm and building up a longer warm-up to prepare mentally, than that is fine. However 8-10 min is sufficient enough to cover all components of the warm-up.

There are 3 main foci of a proper warm-up:

(1) Stimulate the body in a way that elasticity increases (how the body rotates, bends and moves at a high rate)

(2) Reactability (how quickly can my body move from one position to another, within small spaces)

(3) Explosiveness (how much force can you create in order to accelerate; speed up and decelerate; slow down

Incorporating a combination of upper and lower body movements as well as multidirectional movements, will allow for all three foci to be accomplished. Ensure that at the end of the warm-up that the intensity mimics that of competition. This will ensure that at the blow of the whistle, the kick off, first serve, or first movement that you have made yourself part of the game by contributing optimal enthusiasm, effort and performance.

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