Soccer Injury Prevention

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Soccer is loved world-wide. It challenges and helps develop physical fitness and a range of skills, demanding a combination of cardiovascular performance, team-work, balance, agility, coordination, and strength. Due to this variety however – needing to run, jump, kick, throw, and change direction, a variety of systems must be finely tuned.

This means different muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, and bones, along with your cardiovascular system, must be able to meet the demands of playing at your chosen intensity, to minimise injury. When they cannot meet the demands, injury happens!

Of course – a lot of the time we can’t avoid the freak accidents that happen in sport; the bruises, scrapes, trips, or falls, that may also result in injury (that’s why even players like Ronaldo still get injured!). What we can avoid however is injuries that occur as a result of overuse of the muscles, joints, and tendons, as these injuries occur when these structures cannot keep up with the demand that you are placing it under.

Soccer specific injuries:

Majority of soccer injuries occur in the feet and legs, making up 50-80%. These can include muscle tears, tendon strains or tears, tendon inflammatory injuries, and stress fractures. The likelihood of injury in a game is also 4-6x higher than in training sessions, proving that when you overload it in the match, the body isn’t strong enough to cope with this increased demand during a game.

So … where’s the good news?

Soccer injury prevention:

The good news is if you do the appropriate strengthening and preventative physiotherapy, you can decrease your risk of these injuries. Soccer specific exercises have proven to help reduce injury, and even increase performance. A few key components have been outlined for soccer players – to help reduce this risk. The FIFA 11+program is the most recent and well-researched program, with significant results in reducing injury rates (by 46.1%) and decreasing time loss to injury (by 28.6%).

This program outlines three key components to include within your warm up and exercise program, with different level intensities to target different performance levels, to help reduce injury and improve performance. All three are essential to ensure its effectiveness. This program includes running exercises and a strength and conditioning style component. These only take a total of 20 minutes, and have been endorsed by soccer organisations worldwide.

For more information, hit the link below!

https://www.yrsa.ca/pdf/Fifa11/11plus_workbook_e.pdf

Control what you can control, and do your best to stay healthy!

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