Ensuring that players coming off the bench go through the very best warm up, stretching, and mental preparation procedures before they come on is absolutely essential in terms of their own individual performance output levels, whilst ensuring that they remain as injury free as possible. For this they should have every move they make supervised and controlled by the head of sports science or whoever is in charge of this area instead of them being sat on the bench doing precious nothing.
After all, what exactly are they being paid to do ?
The current trend around clubs in Europe is for an exercise bike to be placed by dugouts and used to warm up players, an idea taken from the world of rugby and one I posted on my old web site years ago for use in football clubs where there are no funds whatsoever. Although this is a step in the right direction it's only a half hearted attempt to do what's required, and it underlines the out of date mentality that many clubs have regarding, " True" attention to detail.
Better than only allowing players to run up and down the side of the pitch a couple of times when they warm up before they come on as subs, which is simply not enough, an exercise bike before this is still not the ideal choice because it doesn't take into account specifity of training, i.e. it doesn't exactly mimic the actual mechanics of running. As a result the Groin Area, Quads, Hamstrings, Shoulders, Knees, Calves, Achilles Tendon, and Feet don't receive as good a warm up as possible, and so the body isn't prepared for the pounding it's about to receive from hitting the floor as the player runs. Far, far better would be to install treadmills in specially enclosed areas that have been adapted with a length of the very latest rubber that modern five a side pitches use as their turf which is added on top of the rolling carpet, as this would allow footballers to directly warm up on them with their studded boots on, in a far better, much more progressive and controlled way, thus reducing the risk of injury, before then continuing their football specific warm up along the side of the pitch conducted by their head of sports science.
In an era where money rules the sport, and results matter more than ever, preparing subs properly and keeping them as injury free as possible is an absolute must. At the very least players should have every move they make supervised and controlled by the head of sports science or whoever is in charge of this area as they warm up and prepare mentally to enter the game...,