Well just like that summer is well and truly over. And it seems like we’ve completely skipped autumn and been thrown into a very cold, wet winter. On the positive side it’s only 79 days until Christmas and the football season is in full swing.

To give you a hand with those cold evening training sessions, we’ve decided to have a look at cold weather training with some help from our friends at Football DNA. The aim is to keep players concentrating on their football rather than the conditions and keep muscles warm to avoid unnecessary injuries.

Rethink your Warm Up

The key to keeping players focused when the cold is biting at them is to think of an imaginative warm up which will get them engaged right from the off. Plus, warm-ups are even more important in cold weather to avoid muscle injuries. Think of something different to what you normally do so that the players have to think a little more and their mind is taken off the conditions. It also needs to be something which gets the blood pumping quickly.

Once they are warmed up, they will soon forget about the conditions. Football DNA suggest some form of ‘tag’ game, with or without the ball, which involves lots of changing direction and minimal standing still.

Session Design – Be Prepared!

The key point to be taken from this guide is that time spent standing still needs to be kept to a minimum. This may sound like stating the obvious but it isn’t always easy to keep all 15+ players constantly engaged and on the move, especially with youngsters!

Avoid having players queuing up for drills and waiting for long periods while coaches set up the next session. With that in mind it’s a good idea to have all of the drills set out with cones, markers, manikins etc. before training even starts so players can move quickly between them.

Make sure your full session is planned out beforehand. Your players won’t thank you if they have to stand in the cold while you think up what to do next!

Session Delivery

Rather than stopping the session to deliver coaching points or messages to the players. Try to identify a method of getting your ideas across which means the players don’t have to stop moving. Stopping everyone and getting them to stand around in a huddle for 5 minutes is clearly not the best idea. Work with individuals one at a time rather than stopping the whole group. Quickly pull a player to one side while the game goes on around them but make sure you keep it clear and concise before letting them crack on again as quickly as possible.

Hydration is obviously very important however; try to keep drinks breaks as short as you can before getting the session going again, 30 seconds to a minute is ideal.

Keep Players Wrapped Up

Remind players about the temperatures before they turn up. There’ll always be players who are happy to train whatever the weather in shorts and t-shirts but most will prefer a few more layers. Players can always take layers off if they get too hot. Baselayers are always a great way to stay warm during training without having to pile on loads of heavy layers.

This is particularly important when training young children, as it is more difficult for youngsters to warm their bodies up again after they have become cold.

Shop Winterwear

Want to update your winter training wardrobe? Check out our winterwear range on Kitlocker.com for some inspiration. The selection features winter jackets, baselayers, hats, gloves and much more at discounted prices.


Thanks to our friends at Football DNA, the original article can be found by clicking here. If you aren’t already aware of Football DNA, they offer content curated by coaches, players and general lovers of football for your enjoyment and implementation. Giving you access to the latest coaching drills, in depth sports science ideas and the latest Strength & Conditioning trends. As well as top level Wellness and Nutrition ideas, latest athlete monitoring tools and top analysis videos plus features from professional football clubs around the world.

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