10 Ways to recover from a Soccer Game

Recovering from a difficult game is just as important as preparing to play, because a good recovery will ensure that you are ready to keep training in the future.

I remember as a young club player, I would take the long drive home from the park in the back of my parents car after an evening match. We sometimes played far away and we could be driving home for 45 minutes or more.

Some nights when we returned home, I could barely step out of the car because my legs were so sore! This is a normal way to feel after a hard game though. When you are really exerting yourself, you have to make sure you take of your body afterwards or you'll have a very hard time in the future.

Listed below are 10 ways to recover from a soccer game or improve your ability to recover:

1. Eat a banana, they are full of potassium which can reduce cramping.

2. Take an ice bath. Ice helps to reduce swelling and bruising, and also allows blood to leave the muscles and relaxes the body.

3. Do yoga. Regular yoga sessions will improve flexibility and help to avoid fatigue and injury in difficult games.

4. Stretching after every game is very important and will help to prevent cramps.

5. Do for a cool-down run. If you go from game pace to sitting down right away, you will almost always cramp. After you finish, take a light jog for about five or ten minutes while the muscles cool down.

6. Drink lots of fluids - you need water and electrolytes to replace the fluids and salt you lose in a game. Grab a sports drink or some water right away.

7. Fuel up with a quick snack. We've already recommended Bananas, but energy snacks, peanut butter or chocolate milk also work great.

8. Check your urine color. If your pee is very yellow an hour or more after a game, it means you haven't hydrated enough and your body is craving water.

9. Take it easy - don't do anything strenuous for the rest of the day. As energetic as you might feel, the body needs time to rest and recover, and going overboard now means that you will need exponentially more time to recover later on. After your game, don't exhaust yourself for the rest of the day, just do something relaxing instead.

10. Get some protein - protein is what your muscles need to rebuild. Without it, you may lose muscle mass after exerting yourself - something you don't want! A protein shake or a meal containing lean meats can help with this.

Now that you know 10 ways to recover from a Soccer game, get out there and give it your all. If you really follow all of these tips, you'll never be too tired to train the next day and you can always play your hardest.