It's hard to get kids to properly stretch before practice and foam rolling isn't exactly "fun," but if you add it into your little athlete's warm-up regimen now then they'll be a lot less likely to injure themselves long-term.
When done correctly and regularly, foam rolling can maintain healthy soft tissue and improve range of motion.
To perform these exercises, you need one of a few rudimentary items: A foam roller, a tennis ball or a stick. Encourage your child or player to spend 5 to 10 minutes on areas that are sore and tight, three to four times a week.
Here are 8 Foam Roller Exercises for kids:
- Thoracic Spine
Guide for Calf:
Sit on the floor with legs stretched in front of you. Place the foam roller perpendicular to your right calf and cross your left leg over your right ankle. Use your hands to raise your body off the ground. Roll your entire lower leg from the ankle to the back of your knee. Switch legs and repeat.
30 seconds to 2 minutes each side.
You can find the completed exercises guide here: http://www.activekids.com/football/articles/foam-roller-exercises-for-kids.