Post-match recovery of professional football players

It is not easy being a professional footballer, weeks of training, no cheat days, every day at the gym and when the weekend comes you might not even play the game after all.

Being left out or being on the bench is not desirable, but if players do get a chance to play, they make the most of it.

Now, when a football player is on the pitch everything is happening at 20 miles per hour, players flying by, tackles coming in, goals being scored, everything occurs in the 90 min of play.

So, there are huge chances of a player getting injured, to avoid that post-match recovery becomes an absolute must.

To avoid injuries in the long run it is important that a football player recovers after every match, and they should initiate the process as soon as the game ends.

Recovery after the game is as important as a warm-up routine before it.

So, let’s talk about post-match recoveries in a more detailed manner to understand the significance and life of a football player after the 90 min.

Why Recover?

Whether you are a Premier League professional or a Sunday league hopeful, resting between training sessions and games is vital not only for your performance but also for your health, avoiding injury, and having fun.

Nobody enjoys waking up stiff and sore the day after a game.

Professionals are frequently called upon to play numerous 90-minute games every week. Because of the limited time between games (2 – 5 days), rehabilitation measures are more important.

Nutrition is also critical to healing, and happily, there has been a lot of wonderful study in this area in recent years.

Don’t throw your boots right after the game

Stopping to move is the worst thing a player can do. The game could run up to two hours, but keeping the body active after the game is vital in recovery.

If you treat your body properly, it is capable of bearing strain and pressure that will only strengthen it, especially if you give it the best chance to recuperate properly.

If you’ve ever woken up stiff and painful the day after a game, know that maintaining an active post-game routine will help decrease and potentially even prevent that from happening.

Hit the field and run around it at least twice. A player does not have to dash like an antelope, nor should they trot around aimlessly. Jogging is sufficient.

You reduce muscle tiredness by moving at a normal pace.

Take stretching seriously

Maintaining flexibility is vital for in-game performance, but stretching and using a foam roller after the game is an efficient way to relieve some of the muscle stress, especially if the players thought they were stiffening up during the game.

Players will also need to release any built-up tension in the joints, so combining stretching with roughly 5-10 minutes of foam rolling will have the muscles singing their way to improve outcomes and relaxation.

Ice baths

Though opinions differ on how long “cold water immersion therapy” or “cryotherapy” should be performed, the general consensus appears to be that immersing oneself in an ice bath for 10-14 minutes at 54F-57F degrees is more than adequate to treat and reduce discomfort. 7

The first few minutes are the most uncomfortable, but after one gets used to it, sore or stiff areas will feel relief.

It works for the same reason that putting an ice pack on a bump injury helps – you want to reduce inflammation and pain at the damage site.

So, there you have it, these are some of the routines that professional football players integrate into their life after the 90 mins are up.

Recovery is of vital importance, consider it as maintenance, and that is why players are able to perform wonders on the pitch – week in, week out!

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