Warm-up - The principle is to get oxygen to the exercising muscles so they can function at their best. This also reduces the chance of injury. This is why you see top athletes dedicate quality time to their warm-ups. While their warm-ups might include some complex techniques such as massage, physio etc. there are some basic transferable tips that can get you ready:
Try light exercise, such as jogging, for 10+min
The benefits of stretching before exercise have recently been put into question but some gentle mobility stretches for your main exercising muscles may be still be useful. Again, chat with your coach for guidelines.
If your sport requires a specific skill, such as kicking, practice this skill starting EASY.
Remember, part of your warm-up requires mentally focusing on the tasks and skills you need to perform.
Reduce nervousness - One added benefit of a regular warm-up routine is that this familiar pattern can help reduce your nervousness. When you are competing at a foreign ground with a hostile crowd and intimidating opposition little things like a well-rehearsed warm-up routine can steady the nerves. It can give you confidence that you are ready to go.
Warm-up A & B - Another tip used by top athletes and coaches is having two warm-up routines. The first is the regular warm-up. The second is a condensed/shorter warm-up used if an athlete or team is running late. For example, the Australian Hockey team had warm-up A as their main way to prepare for the Olympic competition. This warm-up was the familiar routine that they knew would have them ready to take the field. However, they also practised warm-up B which was to be used if their bus was delayed and they arrived too late for warm-up A. Warm-up B was a more basic version with less easy jogging and less stretching but it still prepared them for the match and steadied the nerves. Write down your warm-up routine and stick it to your gear bag to help in your preparation.
A quality warm-up produces a better performance. Is there a transfer to our spiritual life? How is our warm-up before church? That is, how do we prepare for our regular church service? Or is going to church always a last minute rush? Some church warm-up tips:
â€¢ Interact with the Word - Read the passage that the pastor is preaching on beforehand. Ask the pastor to print next week's reading so you can read and study it. Romans 12:2 explains that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. The Bible is able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (2 Tim 3:15). "Able" applies if you interact with it. Study the passage beforehand.
â€¢ Encourage - Take some time to consider how you can encourage others at church. The Bible says we should spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). Who in your church needs a word of encouragement? How can you challenge them in their ministry?
â€¢ Prayer – corporate worship is a great time of celebration but it also needs us to be praying for the Spirit's guidance. 1 Peter 2:5 explains we are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. This is a process that requires prayer as we come together at church.
A little warm-up before church can help prepare our hearts and minds.