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soccer playing running after a soccer ball

Returning to soccer


by Kelsey Gleich, MS, LAT, ATC

Unexpected time off from your favorite sport can be frustrating, but it can also be a great time to heal from injury and refocus. Instead of rushing to return to the soccer field as soon as possible, make sure you prepare well and gradually build up to your game-ready fitness.

Your return to soccer starts long before your first practice or training session. In fact, current recommendations say young athletes should start aerobic activities two months before starting a soccer season.

We’re here to help you make this happen. Even if your soccer team isn’t practicing regularly, it’s important to work out at home frequently and consistently. Try one of these activities to stay active at home:

  • Running
  • Biking
  • Rollerblading
  • Strength training

Ease back into it

As you begin to do more structured workouts in addition to general physical activity, make sure you follow these guidelines to stay injury-free and improve your performance:

  • Proper warm up
  • Aerobic Exercise
  • Cross Training
  • Correct workload
  • Cool down and stretch

These elements will help ensure a safe and successful return to soccer. Read a detailed breakdown of these tips and tricks at our blog post titled “How to safely resume your sports and activities.” 

Preparing for soccer

As you prepare to get back into the soccer season, try these soccer-specific exercises:

  • Warm up with foot skills/dribbling drills
  • Include a soccer ball with your running activity
  • Work on changing directions, acceleration and stop/go movements

Soccer injury prevention and medical care

By following these guidelines and easing your way back into a successful soccer season, you will have a greater chance of returning to soccer without any injuries.

However, if you do need some extra help with aches, pains or injuries, we’re seeing patients in Bloomington, Burnsville, Maple Grove, St. Louis Park and Woodbury. Our orthopedic experts are also available for video visits.

About Kelsey Gleich
Kelsey Gleich is an athletic trainer at TRIA and Minneapolis Southwest High School. As an avid soccer player, cross country skier and runner, she loves caring for other athletes and helping them recover from injury and succeed in their sport.

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