Playing football or any other field based sport requires endurance, agility, speed, as well as a technical and tactical understanding of the game. All of these aspects will be taught and improved during training sessions, but playing field sports also involves a risk of injury. Thus, an optimal training session should also include exercises to reduce the risk of injury.
The “FIFA 11+” is an injury prevention programme that was developed by an international group of experts based on their practical experience with different injury prevention programmes for amateur players aged 14 or older. It is a complete warm-up package and should replace the usual warm-up prior to training. In a scientific study, it was shown that youth football teams using the “FIFA 11+” as a standard warm-up had a significant lower risk of injury than teams that warmed up as usual. Many coaches already incorporate aspects of this programme in their usual warm-up.
The key elements of effective injury prevention programmes for football players are core strength, neuromuscular control and balance, eccentric training of the hamstrings, plyometrics and agility.
The FIFA 11+ program combines these 3 key elements into a simple 20min warm up that should be implemented prior to training sessions and games.
The program is most effective when completed a minimum of two times a week with correct technique. We would suggest that even an abbreviated FIFA 11+ program would be beneficial if a 20min program is too long.
Here are links to the PDF poster and manual.
There is also an app that has been developed by the International Olympic Committee called Get Set, it provides injury prevention strategies for all Olympic sports, soccer (football) is covered with videos taken from the FIFA 11+ warm up program.
Here is the link to the app: