Staying fit is so important for many reasons. From the professional ranks down to academies, less durable players are often disregarded for being injury-prone. Equally, being injured prevents us from improving technically. While we are sidelined it is very difficult to improve. Furthermore, injury prevention work can prolong careers. As well as this, it can improve our joints, leading to better mobility after retiring from football. There are several ways we can work on preventing injuries. These include: strengthening and conditioning muscles; improving balance and improving proprioception. We suggest preventative techniques to ALL footballers for: avoiding injuries; preventing previous injuries reoccurring and reducing overuse injuries. Use our tips online along with the daily informational posts on Instagram to improve your knowledge, in order to become the best player you can be. To get the most from Fuel For Football consider purchasing our in-depth plans and e-books.
Foam Rollers are the best form of self-myofascial release for players. They have many benefits for both injury prevention and recovery. Some of the basic, most obvious benefits will be increased blood flow throughout the body, better movement and increased range of motion (ROM). These benefits can decrease the chance of injury and decrease recovery time needed after a match or training session. Increased circulation is huge for recovery and greater ROM means you get to work muscles more thoroughly on lifting days. Other methods of self-myofascial release include using a lacrosse ball, rolling stick or, manual therapy.
Proprioception is the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement. A decreased proprioception is seen as a risk factor for injuries and also seen as an indication of non-contact ankle sprain. Therefore it plays a role in injury prevention and rehabilitation from injuries. [1,11,4,6,10]
As ankle sprains and knee injuries are very common in football players, proprioceptive/balance training is used in rehabilitation of these body sites. Furthermore, in training it has been shown to reduce knee injuries and ankle sprains (of players who already suffered from ankle sprains) and reduced non-contact hamstring injuries. One study showed ankle sprains to reduce 30-35% on a proprioceptive program, In general it is protective of all non-contact injuries. [2,15,3,12,3,9]
Proprioception is affected by fatigue. This is why more non-contact injuries occur during the last 30 minutes of matches than the first 60. Therefore training proprioception and balance after a gym session is much more effective than before a session. 
There are gender differences with proprioception. Females commonly have better proprioception than their male counterparts. Therefore training proprioception is generally more important for male players. 
Located Muscle Strengthening
For players who have known weak points or areas prone to injury, located strengthening can reduce the risk of injuries massively. Many injuries are caused by muscle imbalances that can occur both naturally or through incorrect training. Located strengthening acts to counteract imbalances. For example, a player with ankle problems can strengthen their calf muscles in order to better support their ankles. Most strengthening exercises are simple body-weight exercises that can be done from home. We are currently working on a range of plans with strengthening exercises and advice for different areas of the body.
Static stretching appears to induce a rebounding effect on muscle blood flow – i.e. reduces flow during the stretch, but quickly elevates it afterwards. Temporarily reducing, and then increasing blood flow facilitates recovery by improving the delivery of nutrients whilst simultaneously removing metabolites. As inadequate recovery leaves muscles with a greater risk of injury, stretching can help massively with injury prevention. 
Proper rest has been proven to be a natural performance enhancer that can improve several areas of your game by up to 10% or better. Alertness, fatigue perception, recovery, work out intensity, accuracy, decision making, temperament, and even good off the field decisions are strongly influenced by how well a player sleeps and recovers. One study has shown that athletes with less than 6 hours sleep per night had a greater likelihood of suffering a fatigue related injury. It also showed that athletes with less than 8 hours sleep had an injury rate 1.7 times greater than those who slept greater than 8 hours per night. 
Staying off your feet as much as possible before a game and during recovery can reduce risk of injury. This time allows key muscles to recover rather than being inundated with more energy usage.
Warm-ups for training and matches should be composed nearly entirely of dynamic stretches. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, they increase production of synovial fluid. This helps the synovial joints, such as knees and ankles, to become more efficient. Furthermore they are good for getting blood pumping to key areas.