Written by: Nadia Colavecchio
It is no secret that soccer is the most popular sport played in the world, with approximately 265 million playing recreationally, competitively, or professionally. As with many sports, soccer players across all levels are at risk for injury. Beginning in 2003, the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC) developed an injury prevention programme titled “The 11”, which has since been revamped into today’s FIFA 11+, and gaining popularity worldwide.
The FIFA 11+ is an injury prevention programme targeted specifically to players aged 14 and older. This complete warm-up protocol is aimed towards strengthening the body’s natural defence mechanisms to become more resistant to injuries by working certain muscle groups and stabilizing the surrounding joints. This programme not only promotes injury prevention, but it has been shown to increase performance in essential soccer skills such as agility, balance and strength.
The FIFA 11+ only takes 15-20 minutes to complete, and it should be performed at least twice a week as the warm-up to games, or at the beginning of each training session. It is comprised of 15 exercises divided into three sections that should be performed in the specified sequence.
For each part, F-MARC states that athletes must pay attention technique: that is maintaining a correct posture, good body control which includes straight leg alignment, knee over toe position and soft landings.
What does the Research Say?
Since the creation of the FIFA 11+, research studies and reviews have been conducted to test the programme’s validity, or the extent to which the program does what it was set out to do; that is prevent injury and improve performance. Well-designed studies consisted of:
To date, this research has provided results that indicate significantly lower injury rates to those teams carrying out the FIFA 11+ protocol. Generally:
That’s what all the buzz is about!
If you are interested in implementing the FIFA 11+ into your team’s training, be sure to visit the following website for the full details of the
FIFA 11+ protocol.
Bizzini, Mario, and Jiri Dvorak. “FIFA 11+: An Effective Programme to Prevent Football Injuries In Various Player Groups Worldwide—A Narrative Review”. Bjsm.bmj.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.
“FIFA 11+ | A Complete Warm-Up Programme”. F-marc.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.
Oluwatoyosi B. A. Owoeye, Olajide A. Olawale. “Efficacy of The FIFA 11+ Warm-Up Programme In Male Youth Football: A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial”. PubMed Central (PMC). N.p., 2017. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.