A MULTINATIONAL CLUSTER RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TRIAL TO ASSESS THE EFFICACY OF ‘11+ KIDS’: A WARM-UP PROGRAMME TO PREVENT INJURIES IN CHILDREN’S FOOTBALL

Review written by Todd Hargrove info

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Young soccer players frequently experience injury during games and practice. Previous studies have shown that the 11+ program can reduce the rate of injury in players aged 14 and older. The objective of this study was to determine whether a modified program (“11+ kids”) could reduce injury rates in players aged 7-13.

METHODS

Youth soccer teams from Switzerland, Germany, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands were invited to participate in the study. Teams that had already implemented a similar injury prevention or neuromuscular training program were excluded. The children were aged 7-13, and the mean age was 10.8.

Clubs were randomly placed into either an intervention group or control group. The control group did their normal warm-up, and the intervention group replaced their usual warm-up with the 11+ Kids program. For one year, teams reported injury rates and program compliance by the internet.

To implement the 11+ Kids program, the intervention group coaches received a detailed manual and were instructed to use it as a replacement for the warm up. The program takes about 15-20 minutes to complete, and consists of seven different exercises: three for unilateral, dynamic stability of the lower extremities (hopping, jumping and landing); three for whole body and trunk strength/stability; and one exercise on falling technique.

RESULTS

The intervention group suffered 48% less injuries, and 74% less severe injuries. Furthermore, injury rates were better with increased program compliance. For example, the risk of injury was reduced by half in the high compliance intervention group (1.5 sessions per

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