Is your body ready for the football season?

Published: 25 Mar 2022

Is your body ready for the football season?

Football season is heating up fast with local association teams training and preparing for their upcoming season whilst Football NSW youth and senior teams are already a few weeks into their season. I think I speak for most people that after the past year we are all very eager to return back to playing sport. 

But the real question, is your body ready for this football season?? 

Well, I have you covered with an injury prevention program. 


FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) has developed and designed an injury prevention program for football players aged 14 years and above. It is designed to prevent the most frequent types of injuries in football e.g. groin and hamstring strains, ankle sprains and knee ligament injuries

The benefit of integrating this program into your training program is that it is simple and FREE! It does not require any equipment or a specialist to coach and only takes 20 minutes to perform. Over the past few years, it has been re-designed and upgraded to now be called FIFA11+. 


Football is a physically demanding, high intensity  sport. The intensity of the sport is not without consequences, with the injury rate for  soccer injuries occurring at a rate of 20 injuries per 1000 hours of play, CRAZY STATISTIC!! The majority of these injuries impact the lower limbs.

Another important fact gleaned from the literature is that injuries occur primarily during the initial or final 15 minutes of the match. What do we learn from this?

  1. An appropriate and effective warm up is very important, and
  2. Fatigue can play a large role in injury occurrence.

Research has shown that incorporating the FIFA 11+ programme into:

  • training (all 3 parts) and
  • game day (parts 1 and 3) warm-up,

in addition to warm downs reduces the overall risk of injury by 34% and lower limb injuries by 29%. 


  • Increased neuromuscular control and balance
  • Promotes good technique and motor planning
  • Improved strength in the lower limbs and core


Consists of 3 parts of 15 exercises: running and active stretching, core and leg strengthening, and high-speed planting and cutting. All these exercises need to be followed in a specific sequence: 

Part 1: Running 

  • Straight aheadFIFA 11+
  • Hip out/In
  • Circling partner
  • Shoulder contact 
  • Quick forwards and backwards

Part 2: 3x Levels (Level 1, 2 and 3) – Strength – Plyometrics – Balance 

  • The Bench
  • Sideways Bench
  • Hamstrings
  • Single-Leg Stance
  • Squats
  • Jumping

Part 3: Running

  • Across the pitch
  • Bounding
  • Plant and Cut


I am so glad you asked!  One of the consequences of the COVID pandemic and the associated lockdowns is that many people lost match fitness.  Our team recognised this and created a Pre-Season conditioning program for soccer players. Our program embeds some of the concepts from FIFA 11+.


If you would like further information around injury prevention or have unfortunately sustained an injury feel free to get in contact with me or any of the team.  As a football coach, and physio, there is nothing I love more than chatting about football. 

Paul Chester and his soccer team

Paul Chester is a Physiotherapist in our Penrith team. He also coaches Nepean FC Boys Youth League U16s.

Good luck in your season.  And look out for my next blog where I will be sharing more information about the under 14’s.


Links to other articles

Links to 11+ Manual


Al Attar, W., & Alshehri, M. (2019). A metaanalysis of metaanalyses of the effectiveness of FIFA injury prevention programs in soccer. Scandinavian Journal Of Medicine & Science In Sports29(12), 1846-1855. doi: 10.1111/sms.13535

Thorborg, K., Krommes, K., Esteve, E., Clausen, M., Bartels, E., & Rathleff, M. (2017). Effect of specific exercise-based football injury prevention programmes on the overall injury rate in football: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the FIFA 11 and 11+ programmes. British Journal Of Sports Medicine51(7), 562-571. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2016-097066

Owoeye, O., VanderWey, M., & Pike, I. (2020). Reducing injuries in soccer (Football): An umbrella review of best evidence across the epidemiological framework for prevention. Sports Medicine – Open6(1). doi: 10.1186/s40798-020-00274-7