We’ve been pretty fortunate this year, not a bad summer and with September being one of the warmest on record its a bit of a shock when the temperature tumbles and the central heating gets its first switch-on for the year.
But cold weather is good too isn’t it? It usually means the clocks have gone back resulting in longer darker nights, the arrival of Halloween, Bonfire Night and of course Christmas. Apparently cold weather kills off bugs, improves the outside air quality and of course gives us more time snuggled up with our loved ones??
One thing for sure is that cold winter conditions means we need to be prepared. Coaches need to alter their training methods, players need to keep warm and protected and spectators need to be need to be prepared to brave the elements. I think its probably worth looking at these in a bit closer detail.
Managers and coaches are responsible for the well-being and care of players (regardless of age) and need to ensure players arrive warm, keep warm and leave the session warm. Players need to be reminded to wear the right protective layers and wear the right type of clothing to suit the conditions.
Coaches also need to ensure training sessions keep all the players active, small games are ideal, children waiting around is a big no-no, keeping them moving at all times is a big yes-yes. Coaches also need to recognise that chit chat needs to be kept to a minimum, its not the right time and place for a big motivational speech about last weeks game or too discuss next weeks tactics in depth and to keep the players busy & active!
Gloves & Hats are perfectly acceptable during training sessions, so encourage players to keep warm at all times.
Don’t forget about your equipment and playing conditions too- a light snowfall may be acceptable to play on but is the ground underneath frozen solid? Children and adults dont bounce too well on a frozen pitch so prepare well in advance. Invest in some of the Fluo balls from Mitre, ideal for wintry conditions and children always find these beneficial.
Wearing T Shirts and Shorts on a freezing cold day may make you look macho but it’s a sure-fire way to lower your performance, make you ill and possible cause greater problems like Hypothermia. If a player doesn’t come prepared the coach is perfectly entitled not to let them play.
A great idea in colder weather is to wear lots of layers, a baselayer, a t-shirt, a tracksuit or fleece top then a large outer jacket this way is easier to take things off than be cold from the outset -just don’t forget to mark them up with your own initials or get them personalised so you don’t lose them!
Remember the objective has to be to keep warm and enjoy your game. You won’t enjoy your game if your fingers or toes feel like dropping off so keep moving! If you’re a goalkeeper this is even more important, bounce on your toes, run on the spot and move around your goal area – just keep active.
Its all very well for the coaches and players running around the pitch but its often the spectators that are first to feel the cold. Whether its match day or just a training session its very important you go prepared to keep warm.
Our Touchline Survival Guide is full of useful tips and hints on how to keep warm as a parent and spectator-subscribe to our newsletter here to receive this free of charge
Of course we will be delighted to hear your own views on surviving the cold months ahead on the touchline, post your hints and tips at the end of this post.