Do you know how to stretch properly? How many times have you seen an inconvenient ligament tear or hamstring injury hampering the performance of your team? Nine times out of ten, the root lies in the improper stretching habits of the team members.
What is the purpose of stretching? Why don’t you take a rubber band and stretch it to its maximum elasticity in a single jerk? Chances are high that three out of five rubber bands will snap immediately. Only two will withstand the immense load. On the other hand, if you stretch in a graded manner, you will find that all the rubber bands get stretched to their maximum elasticity.
This is exactly how the human body works. The level of physical exertion placed on the body should proceed in a graded manner. Of course, you cannot request your opponents to run slowly to ensure your body warms up, can you? That is the reason why one should carry out stretching exercise before the match.
Another significant advantage of stretching exercises is that it ensures proper flow of blood to various parts of the body. Improper blood flow can lead to cramps. It can also affect performance as rate of deterioration of muscles is higher when supply of oxygen is not proper.
Just as you take your vehicle from the first gear to the fourth in a graded manner to ensure adequate supply of fuel, you should stretch repeatedly to make sure that your body is well prepared for the immense burst that you need to put to win the match.
Stretching is essential for not just preparing the body to work hard but also to help the body relax properly. That is the reason why you see teams stretching themselves even after the match as ended. This helps avoid wear and tear for the future.