How to prevent injuries in soccer (9 methods)

Of all the sports out there, people suffer the most injuries in soccer. In 2020, despite sports fields staying closed for a long time due to corna, soccer was still the sport with most injuries. In this blog, we explain what you can do to prevent injuries.

Do this to prevent injuries in soccer:

  • Do a proper warm-up
  • Wear proper protection
  • Do a cool-down 
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat healthy food
  • Do muscle and bone strengthening exercises
  • Get a massage
  • Take supplements if necessary

When you read on, we will explain more about the above methods. We also explain in this blog whether injuries in soccer are completely preventable or not.

Different methods against soccer injuries

Before we explain the different methods, it is good to point out three things:

  1. To prevent injury, it is important to use multiple methods. Just wearing the right protection during a game, for example, does not guarantee that you will not get injured. 
  2. We do not have a medical background or expertise in this area, for example, a sports physical therapist has. 
  3. Always consult a doctor if you are unsure about an injury

Do a good warm-up

Every soccer player does a warm-up before starting a soccer match. This can be done either without ball or with ball or both. 

A warm-up is done to warm up all the muscles. It is important to warm up the muscles as you then have much less chance of injuries. 

There are many different warm-up methods. It can vary from team to team. You often see that a team first does a warm-up together. 

Some players do individual exercises afterwards. They do this to give extra attention to certain muscles. For each player it can differ which muscles need extra attention. Players do this because certain muscles are prone to injury.

Every warm-up also includes stretching exercises. Wondering which stretches are good for soccer players? Then read our blog What are good stretches for soccer players?

You may also find this blog of interest
Why do soccer players do a warm-up (fully explained)?

Wear the proper protection

During a soccer game, you are required to wear shin guards. These protect the shin from injury. 

However, there are numerous other protective equipment that can reduce/prevent injuries. Many protective gear you may be familiar with, think about sliding pants or thermal shirts. But did you know that, for example, wearing gloves during cold days can also help? 

More information about what types of protection there are can be found in our blog What protection does a soccer player wear? Wondering what other reasons soccer players wear protection? Then read our blog Why do soccer players wear protection?

Do a cool-down

A cool-down is very important just like a warm-up. However, especially by amateur soccer , the cool-down is often skipped by many or all players. 

During a match there is a lot of intensive effort and you ask a lot of your body and muscles. Cooling down ensures that the muscles are brought back to a resting level. 

Cooling down ensures that the effort you have made is reduced gradually. This allows you to get toxic chemicals out of the muscles better. 

The cool-down can be seen as the reverse of a warm-up. 

Get plenty of rest

For any athlete, you need to listen carefully to your body. If you feel that you are tired, it is important to rest enough. For example, train less intensively if you have sore muscles or skip a training session. 

If you don't rest enough, you run the risk of straining muscles. As a result, it is easier to get injuries. Think, for example, of a hamstring strain when you sprint. 

Stay hydrated

It is important to drink well before, between and after the game. If possible, you can also try to drink during the game. For example, do this during a set-piece moment or when someone with an injury is getting help.

Because you sweat a lot during the game, you lose a lot of water. Water is important to perform well. this is because your muscles consist of three quarters of water. When you drink little and sweat a lot, the muscles also dry out. This causes you to suffer from cramps.

Curious to learn more about why you should drink, what you can drink and how much you should drink? Then read our blog Why should you drink enough as a soccer player?

Eat healthy food

Eating healthy is important for everyone. If you play soccer, it is extra important. Make sure you eat a varied diet and get enough important nutrients. 

Because you demand a lot from your body, your body needs proteins and carbohydrates, among other things, in order to recover well and have enough energy. Fruit and vegetables are also important as they contain many good vitamins.

Since we would like to tell you more about this, we have written an extensive blog. Click here to read our blog What do soccer players eat? 

This blog may also interest you
These are the 10 most common injuries in soccer

Do muscle and bone strengthening exercises

During a soccer game or training, you use an incredible number of different muscles. These muscles develop because you do soccer training and play games. 

However, it is important to train muscles in other ways as well. When your muscles are only trained during soccer, their development will eventually stagnate. 

For example, when you go to the gym and do squats you can train your muscles in such a way that you become more explosive. This means you can become a faster sprinter, for example. 

Click here to find out which muscle exercises are good for a soccer player.

Take a (sports) massage

As an amateur soccer player, you don't have the luxury of getting a massage after every game. Still, it is good to go to a (sports) masseur once in a while. 

A sports massage stimulates the blood circulation of the muscles. It ensures that toxic chemicals are removed more quickly out of your system. The faster you get rid of these waste products, the easier and better your muscles recover.

You can read more about massages for soccer players in our blog X answered questions about massages for soccer players.

Take supplements if necessary

To complement your diet, you may want to take supplements. For example, consider the following supplements:

  • Protein powder that promote muscle recovery
  • Multivitamin so you always get enough vitamins
  • Dextrose to accelerate the absorption of proteins and carbohydrates
  • Fish oil for healthy fats
  • Magnesium / calcium for strong bones and muscles
  • BCAA to prevent muscle breakdown and stimulate recovery

You can read more detailed information about supplements for soccer players in our blog What supplements are good for soccer players and why?

Bonus: other methods

In addition to the above methods, there are numerous other methods you can use as a soccer player to reduce the risk of injury and recover faster.

Consider, for example, taking an ice bath after the game, cupping therapy and cryotherapy. What methods there are and more explanation about them can be read here.

Can you completely prevent injuries in soccer?

By now you know all the things you can do against injuries but can you prevent it completely? The answer to that is no. If you take into account or perform all of the above facets, you can still sustain an injury in soccer. 

Because countless different situations occur during a game, you never have a 100 percent guarantee that you will remain uninjured. This has to do with your own actions but also with the opponent's actions. 

For example, an opponent may have bad intentions and intentionally make an ugly foul on you. If he places his foot high during a slide, it can land right on your knee. This is unprotected and prone to injury. 

Even if you have done a good warm-up, there is a chance that you could sustain an injury. In fact, there is also a chance that you will sustain an injury during your warm-up. 


100 percent prevention of injury during soccer is an illusion. Fortunately, you now know all the methods you can take into account to reduce your chances of getting an injury. 

In this blog we have placed links here and there to other blogs of ours. We encourage you to read them if you want more in-depth information on how to reduce your risk of injury. 

We hope you will apply these methods and stay injury-free for as long as possible. That way you can play as many games as possible during the season.

Are you curious to read more blogs about safety and protection in soccer? Click here for an overview. 

January 29, 2023
Published: January 29, 2023