Effects of the ’11+ Kids’ injury prevention programme on
severe injuries in children’s football: a secondary analysis of data from a
multicentre cluster-randomised controlled trial.
Beaudouin, Roland Rössler, Karen aus der Fünten, Mario Bizzini, Jiri Chomiak,
Evert Verhagen, Astrid Junge, Jiri Dvorak, Eric Lichtenstein, Tim Meyer, Oliver
Faude. Br J Sports Med. 2018.
[Epub ahead of print]
Take Home Message: A youth football (soccer) player performing the 11+ Kids
program was 58% less likely to have a serious injury during one season compared
with a player doing a usual youth soccer warm-up regimen.
An injury prevention
program can increase performance and decrease the risk of injury. We recently
described two reports from a randomized clinical trial where the authors found
that the 11+ Kids program reduced the risk of injury in youth soccer players (7 to 13 years of age)
and reduced healthcare costs. It remains unclear if the 11+ Kids program can
specifically reduce the risk of severe injuries that prevent a patient from
practicing/competing for 28 days or more and increase the risk for poor
long-term health outcomes. Therefore, the authors performed a secondary
analysis of a cluster-randomized trial to assess the effect of the 11+ Kids program on
reducing severe injuries in 7 to 13-year-old football (soccer) players during 1
season (2014/2015). The authors included 3,895 athletes that participated in
under-9, under-11, or under-13 football in 4 European countries. The athletes
randomized into the 11+ Kids program (2066 athletes) completed the 11+ Kids
program (15-20 minutes, 7 exercises; 5 levels; focused on balance, cores
stability, and optimization of falling technique) 2 times a week in lieu of a regular
warm up. The control group (1829 athletes) followed their regular warm up
regimen. The control group experienced about 1 severe injury every 3000 soccer
hours (50 injuries overall) compared with only 1 severe injury for every 6,667
soccer hours among athletes performing the 11+ Kids program (21 injuries
overall). This represented a 58% injury rate reduction. Fractures were the most
common injury in both groups. Fractures were reduced by 49% among athletes
performing the 11+ program compared with their peers in the control group.
The authors found that
the 11+ Kids program had a large preventive effect on severe injuries in young
athletes. This is a simple program that can be performed in only 15 to 20 min just
twice per week. Many severe injuries that are sustained in this age group are
due to fall on outstretched hand mechanisms as well as muscle and ligament
injuries due to poor technique and stability. This program may be effective in
reducing injuries due to the focus of the program on falling technique,
balance, and core stability. Severe injuries can be traumatic in this age group
because they increase the risk for long-term health problems and time away from
sport and/or school activities. It should be noted that less than 5% of the
population were; therefore, more research is needed to determine if this
program is effective among girls participating in sport. Currently, medical
professionals should encourage parents and coaches to adopt the 11+ Kids
program, which can be easily implemented.
Questions for Discussion: What
is the best way to disseminate this information to youth leagues? Does your
youth athlete perform a structured warm up? Do you think this would be easy to
Written by: Jane McDevitt
Reviewed by: Jeffrey