Probably the most important part of a warm-up is to raise the body’s core and muscle temperature prior to the activity. An elevated muscle temperature allows muscles to contract more forcefully and nerve signals to be sent more effectively which is going to be very beneficial for sporting performance. Also, an increased muscle temperature means that the muscles are more pliable. This means they can stretch further without being damaged which is beneficial to reducing the risk of injury (Joyce and Lewindon, 2014).
A player should be lightly sweating at the end of a warm-up to indicate that their cooling system has been activated. If a player is very out of breath and sweating heavily it means that the warm-up activity was too intense. The method of raising the body temperature is only limited by the coach’s imagination. Games and competitive tasks are a good way of making the warm-up more fun and interesting and this can get the players in a good frame of mind before training or competition. Some examples are demonstrated in the video below.