“11 + Kids,” a 20-minute warm-up program comprising seven exercises to be performed prior to children’s regular soccer training sessions, has helped reduced the number of soccer injuries by half, an international team of scientists observes.

The program was developed based on studies into the characteristics of soccer injuries in children carried out by Dr Roland Rössler from the University of Basel’s Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, according to a media release from the University of Basel.

The characteristics of soccer injuries in children differ from those seen in young people and adults, Rössler notes. “For example,” he says, “children are more likely to suffer broken bones or injuries to the upper extremities.”

A total of 243 teams, comprising approximately 3,900 players between the ages of 7 and 13 from Switzerland, Germany, Czechia, and the Netherlands, took part in the large-scale study, and the results are published in the journal Sports Medicine.

The study was conducted under the leadership of Oliver Faude, as well as Rössler.

While the control group went about their training as normal, the intervention group warmed up regularly using the “11 + Kids” program. After one soccer season, the injury rate of the team that followed the program was 48% lower than the control group, while the rate of severe injury fell by as much as 74%, the release explains.

The results suggest that an appropriate warm-up program can help prevent a large percentage of injuries provided it is performed at least once, and preferably twice, per week.

[Source(s): University of Basel, Science Daily]