Objective: To evaluate if Fédération Internationale de Football Association's "The 11+" injury prevention program improves physical fitness and technical performance in youth futsal players.
Design: Randomized cohort study.
Setting: Futsal club.
Participants: Thirty-six futsal players (17.3 ± 0.7 years).
Intervention: Players were randomized to an intervention group (n = 18) or a control group (n = 18). Intervention group performed "The 11+" twice per week for 12 weeks.
Main outcome measures: Isokinetic testing to access maximal quadriceps (Q) and hamstring (H) strength, vertical jump (squat jump, SJ; countermovement jump, CMJ), 5-m and 30-m sprint, agility, slalom, and balance performances were also measured.
Results: Intervention group increased (P < 0.05) quadriceps concentric (14.7%-27.3%) and hamstrings concentric (9.3%-13.3%) and eccentric (12.7%) peak torque. Intervention group improved functional H:Q ratio by 1.8% to 8.5% (P < 0.05). Intervention group improved (P < 0.05) SJ (13.8%) and CMJ (9.9%) and 5-m and 30-m sprint (8.9% and 3.3%, respectively), agility (4.7%), and slalom (4.8%) performances. Intervention group also improved balance, by decreasing the number of falls by 30% in the nondominant limb. No changes were observed in control group.
Conclusions: The results suggest that 'The 11+' can be used as an effective conditioning means for improving physical fitness and technical performance of youth futsal players.