The secret to starting games fast!

12 January 2018 Ben Cartwright primer, warmup, football, footballer, soccer, prepare, preparation

Priming drills:

Priming Drills are those exercises that players should perform as the final part of their match preparations or 'warm up'. Priming Drills are exercises of a short, fast and highly insensitive nature that are sequenced together. These drills target the Central Nervous System in an attempt to 'prime' or 'fire' the neural pathways from brain to specific muscles, allowing faster signalling and increased synchronisation of muscular action.


Recently at a game just prior to kick off, the opposition began their priming drill that involved players in a circle performing fast foot contacts before turning and accelerating to 5 or 6 metres. Our goal keeper coach (who I was sat next to at the time) turned to me and said 'What's that all about? I spoke to him about priming drills and the benefits to which he replied 'there's nowt explosive about that' to which we both laughed. 


He'd actually made a good point, which was that if your going to do priming drills then they need to be done properly or at least the players need to have bought into the reason why they are doing them. Warm ups in general can become contrived 'going through the motion' type activities (a whole other blog) that can actually distract from producing the performance benefits being targeted.


I found that giving players individual priming drills and giving them the responsibility and ownership of this part of the warm up extremely beneficial. They can have the added benefit of position specific and highly individualistic, which in turn reduces the potential for the Drill to be contrived or 'half arsed'. Ultimately the player either does the Drill or they don't, at the very least you aren't having a giant circle dance just before kickoff. 

Below is an example of an individual priming Drill

Football Fitness Federation