Five important tips for women footballers

Professional goalkeeper and coach Durva Vahia offers five important must-dos for women footballers.

The nature of the game demands a lot of physical fitness, and building match endurance heavily depends on your intensity and training levels. Durva Vahia, licenced by the Asian Football Confederation, coaches in a grassroots centre at TIFR (Navy Nagar), where she mostly deals with children between the age groups of four and 15. Speaking to Zevenworld, Durva discusses a few important tips that will help women footballers develop immensely. Here they are.

Avoid short-cuts

One should always focus on technique. There is no stopping once you master the technique of your preferred position. Durva insists that a dedicated footballer should be ‘development-oriented’ and 'not result-oriented'. She adds, “Don’t sacrifice your long-term aim for your short-term results, even though it’s easy.”

Dynamic movements

In football, movements on and off the ball are decisive and could change things in no time. Forward runs, defensive awareness and interceptions are vital. Movements do distract all defenders. Also, do not focus too much on body-building exercises, instead focus on those which help improve stamina and endurance.

Position specific warm-ups

Different players demand different warm-up routines. A goalkeeper will train differently than a defender. However, if you want to be a complete package, you must master all techniques. From dribbling to blocking, make sure that you pump enough blood in every muscle for flexibility. Warm-ups should be shorter in duration, and there should be more focus on intensity in order to get the muscles ready for the game.

5v5 for game sense

A 5v5 on a rather compact field enhances your positional sense and decision-making. You think quickly and move more accurately. Run more, and releasing accurate passes helps build one's stability in their suited position. For beginners, body weight exercises are essential.

Eat well and hydrate well

Staying hydrated is one of the top priorities for an athlete, especially for women. Hydration not only regulates body temperature but is also essential for overall optimal performance. Eating habits should equally be taken care of as they affect one's body balance.

Durva also expects her pupils to be enthusiastic and curious as these two attributes help them learn new things all the time on and off the pitch. Lastly, she also emphasises the importance of character. "Character plays an important role as it is inherent to an individual,” she concludes.

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