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FIFA 11+: A warmup program proven to reduce injuries and severity of injuries

US Club Soccer encourages coaches to implement FIFA 11+

FIFA 11+: A warmup program proven to reduce injuries and severity of injuries (VIDEO)

US Club Soccer encourages coaches to implement FIFA 11+

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (March 9, 2017) – Twenty minutes at the start of practice could be the difference in having a full, healthy roster or a depleted roster with various ailments.

FIFA 11+, a Players First resource helping to advance the Player Health & Safety pillar, consists of 15 exercises of running, strength, plyometrics and balance. It has been proven to reduce injuries in youth soccer players by 35-45 percent and reduce the severity of injuries by 20-30 percent.

Surely, you have 20 minutes to spare.

Players First: FIFA 11+ warmup program

Physical therapist Holly Silvers, who has a Ph.D. in biomechanics, became interested in ACL injuries after brother-in-law Tony Meola (yes, that Tony Meola) tore his ACL in 1999.

Not much longer, FIFA 11+ was born. "If they'd had this program at the time, I wouldn't have had to go through what I did," Meola told Men's Health.

"It's an injury prevention program that we developed about nine years ago with a group of researchers from Oslo and a group of researchers from Zurich," Silvers said. "It's done prior to training or prior to a game. After you finish, you can resume training like you normally would."

The complete outline of exercises, as well was other helpful resources, can be viewed here.

"We're continuing our partnership with US Club Soccer and Players First, so we can broaden our message," Silvers said. "This information is important to disseminate. We know it works. It's been well studied globally. We've got multiple research studies to vet the fact that this program does indeed work. It's no- to low-cost, and it prepares your athlete for high-level play. It makes them available throughout the entire season.

"Our ultimate goal is to keep our players safe and playing the game that we love so much."

This FIFA 11+ demonstration is the latest example of US Club Soccer's commitment to Player Health & Safety. This past summer, CEO Kevin Payne wrote an open letter to parents, in which he said: "We believe Player Health & Safety is our first and most important responsibility. To act otherwise would be irresponsible."

In June 2016, US Club Soccer implemented a pair of initiatives through the staff registration process aimed at keeping youth players safe: enhanced background screening and an online Sideline Sports Doc injury recognition course.

More Player Health & Safety resources are coming soon.

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