The effect of the FIFA 11+ program on Y-balance scores of young female soccer athletes
Nwoba, Izuchukwu Michael
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ABSTRACT Some studies have investigated the effects of the FIFA 11+ program on physical abilities of young athletes in order to demonstrate performance benefits, which may eventually improve it’s implementation and ultimately, injury prevention. Few of these studies were among female soccer athletes and none considered athletes below 13 years of age. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of the FIFA 11+ on Y-balance scores (a composite assessment of balance, strength and flexibility) of young female athletes, compared to a traditional warm up program after an indoor soccer season. Thirty-nine girls (9 – 11 years) from a local soccer club participated in this study. No significant difference was found between the intervention and comparison groups nor between preseason and postseason scores. Further studies should evaluate barriers to compliance with the 11+ and identify possible elimination strategies. Incorporation of flexibility exercises may improve performance on the Y-Balance Test.