Topic Progress:

The FIFA 11+ programme has been validated in both men’s and women’s football. 22,23 In general terms, it has been shown to reduce the risk of all injuries by about 30%. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of more severe injuries, like ACL injuries, by about 50%.

Women’s football

The programme was first tested in female football players in Norway. 22 One hundred and twenty five female youth football clubs (aged 13-17) participated in a randomised controlled study. In the group doing the FIFA 11+ programme there was a significantly lower risk of injuries overall, overuse injuries, and severe injuries. This indicates that a structured warm-up programme can prevent injuries in young female soccer players.

Men’s football

A large randomised controlled trial was conducted in sixty-one Division I and II NCAA collegiate football (soccer) teams in the United States. 23 During the course of the season, the teams using the FIFA 11+ demonstrated a 46.1% overall injury reduction and a 32% reduction in time loss due to injury. This study also showed that the programme could reduce the risk of both ACL and hamstring injuries. These are two of the most common time-loss injuries in football.

The results of the two studies outlined above suggest that the use of a neuromuscular training programme, in this case the FIFA 11+, may impart a protective benefit to the football athlete by achieving an optimal state of physiological preparedness for football competition and sufficient biomechanical training to offset the risk of injury associated with football participation.

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