There's a soccer training camp called De Toekomst (The Future) where kids as young as 7 from around The Netherlands are brought after having been spotted as potential professionals.
Now the Dutch soccer club that runs the camp, called Ajax, is flying in their world-famous youth coaches, directly from their famed Academy in Amsterdam, to start training American players from ages 9 to 14 this summer in California.
That's way too early for specialization. But even when kids play more than one sport and take time off from practices during the week, they can get hurt.
In youth soccer, accidents mainly involve broken bones and injuries to upper extremities, say sports scientists who authored a new study published in the journal Sports Medicine. They've also discovered how to dramatically reduce the youngsters' soccer injuries.
Working with 243 youth teams, the researchers used a 20-minute warm-up routine, called FIFA 11+ Kids.
It consists of three exercises focused on the stability of the lower extremities (hopping, jumping and landing); three on whole body and trunk strength/stability; and one on falling technique.
The difficulty levels increased with each kids' age (from 7 to 13) and maturity-related performance and differences in motor skills.
After one soccer season, the overall injury rate of teams that followed the program was 48 percent lower than control groups, while the rate of severe injury fell by as much as 74 percent.
If you have a young soccer star, talk to the coach about doing this style of warmup before every game.
© 2023 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.