The journey towards the coveted trophy

Football brings unity and it unites this country like no other. When I start thinking back it still gives me great excitement. Yes, I’m talking about the only time we, Maldives, won the gold in an International Tournament; the 2008 SAFF championship. Football is truly the heartbeat of Maldivians, despite the fact that a lot of us had forgotten it. In our society everyone is involved in football in one way or the other. We play either for a team or for fun. We even play just to keep ourselves in good shape. I look forward to writing and keeping the readers informed about the medical, physical and psychological aspects of football players through the journals I intend to post here.

Like any other sport, injuries are a part and parcel of a footballer’s life. It is most often due to overuse and also due to an abnormal stress on the ligaments, muscles and bones. Most frequent injuries include sprains (injury to ligaments), strains (injury to muscles) and stress fractures ( injury to bones). Since playing football can sometimes be injurious, certain precautions have to be taken and proper preparations must be followed prior to each training/game. First and foremost, every player needs to be physically and mentally prepared for each game and be ready to meet the demands of the field prior to the start of the season or each game. This includes a well planned strength and conditioning programme which is a must need for a high intensity sport like football. Players should be focused on aerobic conditioning exercises a few weeks before the start of the season and the first few weeks during the season. A good pre season will prevent the players from injuries. Before a season starts, players should be ready to meet the high physical demands throughout a season.This will prevent the players from lasting injuries which would lead to a poorer performance throughout the season.

The trophies do not solely depend only on the training and the performance at the field. An appropriate diet and the right balance of food and fluids too play a pivotal role. Players must follow certain guidelines of what to be avoided and what specific food to be incorporated into their diet. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins provides energy for the muscles. While a diet rich in carbohydrates and proteins is very essential for the players, and at the same time, fat intake has to be monitored by including unsaturated fats and avoiding saturated fats in their diet. Players must focus on hydration as well as rehydration. Lots of fluid intake is advised prior to, during and after a training or a game. Water is very good for rehydration but since football is a long duration sport, a drink containing electrolytes can be quite useful too.

As we all know, proper warming up and cooling down for a training/game plays a crucial role in preventing injuries, improving the performance and on the recovery. Warm up should include any activity which can gradually increase the heart rate followed by stretching the muscles to increase the range of motion at the joints. There is a debate regarding the type of stretching, which weigh more towards a dynamic stretch rather than a static stretch (which I’ll be talking about in more detail in a future post). Cool down will gradually reduce the heart rate, circulates blood and oxygen to the muscles, bringing them to the condition they were before the training/game and removes lactic acid from the body. A cool down should be started with a gentle jog, reducing in speed down to a walk and go for a light static stretch. Sports massage can also be very helpful in warming up and cool down.

I hope you guys find this article helpful. I plan to write focusing on specific issues in the upcoming blogs. Make sure to check out for posts from me in the near future.

Until then, bye bye

3 thoughts on “The journey towards the coveted trophy

  1. Doc Najiha mi anna season ga ves fennaane baa benchun? salhi article eh. dhen kon iraku echeh othy?

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