Performance Enhancement Effects of Federation Internationale de Football Association’s “The 11+” Injury Prevention Training Program in Youth Futsal Players.
Authors: Reis I, Rebelo A, Krustrup P, Brito J.
Clin J Sport Med 2013; 23 (4): 318-320.
Reviewed by Brian Benson
Canadian National coaches, high performance directors, and integrated support teams (ISTs) are currently focussed on optimizing individual athlete training and competition performances. Ensuring athletes are healthy and fit are fundamental principles of performance enhancement, and injury prevention plays an important role in this. Recent evidence suggests that the use of a standardized progressive warmup program may augment physical fitness and technical performance gains while at the same time reduce athletes’ risk of injury. Reis et al. (2013) conducted a randomized controlled trial utilizing 36 male futsal players (mean age: 17.3 years) to determine if there were significant performance effects associated with Federation Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA’s) “The 11+” injury prevention warm-up program. The intervention group performed The 11+ program two times per week for 12 weeks, which included: 1. slow-speed running exercises, stretching, and controlled contacts with a partner; 2. six sets of strength, balance, and jumping drills, each with three levels of increasing difficulty; and 3. speed running combined with changes in direction. The control group warmed up with standard jogging and ball exercises. Results demonstrated significant improvements in strength, sprinting, agility, jumping, balance and skill outcome measures in the intervention group (P<0.05). An earlier cluster-randomized controlled trial by Soligard et al. (2008) demonstrated the effectiveness of The 11+ warm-up program in reducing female soccer players’ overall injury risk by one-third and risk of severe injuries by one-half. This study illustrates how athletes, coaches and multidisciplinary members of the IST can directly align themselves and work together towards a common goal (performance enhancement) with various training interventions, with a “side benefit” of injury prevention.