In an effort to fully maximize the benefit of successful neuromuscular injury prevention programs, an understanding of the underlying determinants of behavioural change and a development of evidence-based behavioural strategies to facilitate adoption and sustained compliance with these programs are needed. In addition, it may increase the motivation of coaches and players to follow an injury prevention program, if there is a direct performance benefit.
Do different delivery strategies of the 11+ program influence the team and player compliance, coach and player attitudes and knowledge of injury prevention, and player performance in youth soccer?
The primary outcome of interest is coach and player compliance to the 11+ program, coaches’ and players’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs to and satisfaction with the 11+ program.
A total of 400 female soccer players (14 to 18 yrs) from 30 teams are cluster-randomized to 3 groups where 1) coaches are only provided with online access to the 11+ injury prevention program (control group), 2) coaches are provided with one pre-season 11+ workshop by physiotherapists, in addition to having access to the 11+ website and personal contact with the research group (coach-focused delivery), and 3) coaches are provided with one pre-season 11+ workshop, and players and coaches are followed-up weekly on-field, in addition to the other mentioned rescources (player-focused delivery).
Individual player exposure, adherence to the 11+ program, and injuries will be followed-up weekly. Compliance will be based on the number of sessions each team completes with the 11+ program out of the total amount of sessions possible, as well as the time spent on the program, and the program components completed by each team.
In addition, all players will be asked to participate in a pre- and post-season assessments examining functional balance and jumping abilities.
There are no well-designed studies evaluating the effect of different delivery strategies on the compliance with an injury prevention program in youth soccer. Preliminary results from this project investigated by an international research group with a broad experience in injury prevention and knowledge translation will give us a better understanding of the impact of different delivery methods for injury prevention programs and the value of a dose-response relationship between adherence and neuromuscular performance.
Consequently, increased knowledge will result in fewer serious injuries, a higher lifelong activity in sports, and lower osteoarthritis rates and costs for the public health system.
This is a collaboration of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and three of the International Research Centres for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) (The Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada; Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, Oslo, Norway; Monash University, Melbourne, Australia).