Hamstring Injuries and Warmup


Saturday I was in Houston watching the Houston Dynamo play the Chicago Fire. About one minute into he second half one of the Fire Players either pulled a hamstring or got a cramp that was severe enough to require him to come out of the game. The temperature at the time was 88 degrees with a heat index around 100 degrees. There was no warm-up before the second half kickoff, his team came directly from the locker room into the game. I would not allow a youth team much less a professional team to do this. That is a sure formula for putting players at risk to pull. In addition it has been my observation that teams that do not do two to three of active warm-up before the start of the second half are at a tactical disadvantage for the first five to eight minutes of the second half because they just are not ‘ready” to play. In essence they are using the start of the second half to get warmed up. It does not take much since they are metabolically already warm but the need to do some coordination and light accelerations and include some progressive stopping and starting to get ready. To do this requires cooperation of the coaching staff and some basic planning to allow enough time to accomplish this. As an aside on the same issue Phil Jackson in his book about the last year of his first tour of duty with the Lakers was always trying to get Shaq to warm-up before the second half because there was a notable drop off in production for the second half of games. Shaq refused because he felt it made him “tired.” Amazing!

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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