Coaches are leaders and educators. It is important for coaches to promote best practice body management through the three typical phases of exercise: warming up, stretching and warming down. This education provides participants with the base knowledge of effective body management and its importance.
Warming up prepares participants for the session. Warm up drills can be with or without the ball and should progress in a staged manner to increase physical and mental efforts. The purpose of warming up is to:
- Increase muscle temperature and blood flow to working muscles;
- Increase heart and respiratory rates;
- Activate the aerobic energy system;
- Stimulate the Central Nervous System (motor pattern rehearsal);
- Assist mental preparation; and
- Contribute to injury prevention (through increased tissue compliance).
Stretching improves flexibility to muscles and joints while exercising, which in turn assists with injury prevention. Stretching should take place after a warm up has been conducted. The purpose of stretching is to:
- Improve muscle balance and capability;
- Prevent injury; and
- Increase blood and nutrient supply to muscles and cartilage.
Warming down is the process of progressively reducing the physical intensity of the session finishing with stretching. At the Aussie Hoops program level, warming down is not critical but can be emphasised by coaches should they wish to and have time to.