What do soccers players do during half-time?

A soccer match consists of two halves, both lasting 45 minutes. In between is the half-time which is 15 minutes long. In this blog, we explain what soccer players do during half-time of a soccer match.

What do soccer players do during half-time?
During half-time players do rest both mentally and physically. It also allows soccer players to eat and drink. The coach can discuss tactics and make changes. Rest ensures that the players can perform at their best in the second half.

Be sure to read on if you want to know more about this topic. We will go into some more depth and give detailed answers to frequently asked questions.

What happens during half-time?

As you have already read in the intro, rest is meant for different things. For each part, we will go into this in more detail.

Physical rest
One of the main reasons for having a 15-minute break is that the players can rest. Playing 45 minutes of soccer requires quite a lot of energy. By taking a 15-minute break, the players regain their breath and energy.

During the 15 minutes, players who have pains can get treatment. This is done, for example, by the team's physio or masseur.

Mental rest
Soccer is a tactical game where you have to be sharp at every moment. You have to be able to anticipate situations quickly but also think ahead. To get results, it is important to communicate well. All these factors make your brain work hard. The 15 minutes of rest ensure that your head can also unwind and start the second half fully focused.

Coaching and tactical changes
Half-time is also for coaching and making tactical changes.

The coach can communicate more easily with the players during half-time than during the game. The 15-minute break is therefore an important time for coaching players. For example, think about explaining certain running patterns or what to do to outsmart the opponent.

The coach can also make tactical changes. For example, he can choose to switch players or put them in a different position. Another example of a tactical change is, for example, assigning different players for corners and free kicks.

All this can ensure that weaknesses exposed during the first half are resolved.

Eating and drinking
It is important for soccer players to drink enough and, when desired, eat as well. Drinking is particularly important. There may be no or few moments during the first half to have a drink. At half-time, players have 15 minutes to do so and thus get enough water or energy/sport drinks.

What is best for a soccer to drink can be read in our blog: What does a soccer player drink? (full explenation)

Why is halftime shorter during extra time?

During tournaments such as the Champions League, Europa League and the World Cup, a match may have to be extended. In this case, two extra quarters are played to determine the result. If no goal is scored, penalties are taken.

Between the second half and the extra time, the players do not go into the dressing room. They only get a few minutes to recover and discuss any tactics.

There is a shorter rest because otherwise a match would take too long. If there were 15 minutes of rest between the second half and the first halve of extra time and between the two halves of the extra time, a total of 45 minutes would be rested.

For soccer players, playing extra time is often a war of attrition. Therefore, the team with the most physical strength, stamina and perseverance is most likely to win during the extra time.

What if there were no rest during soccer?

If there were no 15-minute rest, it would not benefit the game. The players get tired which prevents them from playing well. The game is also more likely to come to a halt more often. Players who are not rested are more likely to suffer cramps and injuries.

For the spectators, it would not be beneficial either. When the game is stopped a lot, it is a lot less interesting to watch. For the spectators, half-time is also a great opportunity to get some food and drink and go to the toilet. The clubs also make good money from the proceeds of the food and drinks.

Extra rest periods in soccer during hot days

When it is very hot, a choice can be made to introduce an extra rest period. This is halfway through the first half and halfway through the second half. This is done to give players a chance to have a very short drink and a short rest.

In extreme heat, a soccer loses fluids incredibly quickly. The heat makes them sweat extra much. To ensure that the soccer players retain enough fluids, an extra short rest is introduced.
Not doing so increases the risk of injuries and cramps. It also does not benefit the game as it will be stopped more often to treat injuries.


You now know what soccer players do at half-time. Resting is essential and brings many benefits. This both for the soccer players and the spectators. If there were no resting, a soccer match would look very different.

May 17, 2023
Published: May 17, 2023