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A warm-up programme to prevent football injuries

The athlete’s health is in the focus these days . What can we do on the pitch?
After the current very long period of inactivity, coaches need to be aware of the players’ health and start with light training sessions to protect players from injuries when going back to the pitch. The FIFA 11+ programme could assist coaches, and players can even do parts of the programme at home because no specific equipment is needed.

What is the FIFA 11+ programme?
It is a complete warm-up programme which was developed by an international group of experts based on their practical experience with various injury prevention programmes for amateur players aged 14 or older. The programme was first designed for youth, but it also works for adult players.

What are your experiences with the FIFA 11+ programme ?
I am a FIFA 11+ instructor since 2013 and I have used it with a variety of teams. There have been many scientific studies about this programme. Let us have a closer look on some impressive published results:
Teams that performed the “FIFA 11+” regularly at least twice a week had 37% fewer training injuries and 29% fewer match injuries

Severe injuries were reduced by almost 50%
The FIFA 11+ programme has been validated in both men’s and women’s football
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%

How is the structure and the duration of this programme?
The structure of FIFA 11+ is very simple: it has three parts with a total of 15 exercises, which should be performed in the specified sequence at the start of each training session. It takes around 20 minutes to complete the full programme and it was designed to be performed twice a week. It can also be conducted prior to the start of the training session.

PART 1 are RUNNING EXERCISES at a slow speed combined with active stretching and controlled partner contacts.
PART 2 are six STRENGTH, PYLOMETRICS, BALANCE exercises focusing on core and leg strength, balance, and plyometrics/agility.
PART 3 are RUNNING EXERCISES at moderate/high speed combined with planting/cutting movements.

Is there any progression over time?
Yes, over time players will adapt and improve their performance level. Therefore, part two has three levels for each specific exercise (level 1, level 2, level 3) that increase the difficulty of each respective exercise. This allows for both individual and team progression throughout the course of the competitive season.

What is the role of the coach during the exercises?
The coach has an important role because COACHING is always needed. A Key point in the programme is to use the proper technique during all the exercises. Pay full attention to correct posture and good body control, including straight leg alignment, knee-over-toe position and soft landings.
Prior to matches it is advisable depending on your physical level to only conduct the running exercises (parts 1 and 3).

References:

Find attached the exercises of the FIFA 11+

Effectiveness

Further references:
Sadigursky et al. (2017). “The FIFA 11+ injury prevention program for soccer players: a systematic review.” BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation. 9(18): 1-8.
Silvers-Granelli H, et al. (2015). “Efficacy of the FIFA 11+ Injury Prevention Program in the Collegiate Male Soccer Player.” Am J Sports Med. 43(11): 2628-2637.

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Preparations going accordingly

Zebras assistant coach Keitumetse Paul says Batswana should not be bothered by Zambia and support their team at this point in time. Paul said the technical team had to strategize on how they will get the team in the shape that is needed ahead of the AFCON qualifier.

Paul, who is also the national under 20 head coach, said he was currently taking charge of the Zebras in the absence of head-coach Adel Amrouche. Amrouche is set to return from Belgium this Friday. Paul highlighted that the head-coach is very much in charge of the team as he gives direction on training session, and is consulted on daily progress.

Paul highlighted the importance of supporting the Zebras. He said the Zebras have the heart and they are fearless as they continue to prepare for Novembers international games.

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