Background Injury knowledge and beliefs influence uptake of prevention programmes, but the relationship between knowledge, beliefs and adherence remains unclear.
Aim To describe injury knowledge and beliefs among youth female soccer coaches and players, and to identify the relationship between these factors, different delivery strategies of the FIFA 11+ programme and adherence.
Methods A subcohort analysis from a cluster-randomised controlled trial of 31 female soccer teams (coaches n=29, players (ages 13–18) n=258). Preseason and postseason questionnaires were used to assess knowledge and beliefs. Teams recorded FIFA 11+ adherence during the season.
Results At baseline, 62.8% (95% CI 48.4% to 77.3%) of coaches and 75.8% (95% CI 71.5% to 80.1%) of players considered ‘inadequate warm-up’ a risk factor for injury. There was no effect of delivery method (OR=1.1; 95% CI 0.8 to 1.5) or adherence (OR=1.0; 95% CI 0.9 to 1.1) on this belief. At baseline, 13.8% (95% CI 1.3% to 26.4%) of coaches believed a warm-up could prevent muscle injuries, but none believed it could prevent knee and ankle injuries. For players, 9.7% (95% CI 6.1% to 13.3%), 4.7% (95% CI 2.1% to 7.3%) and 4.7% (95% CI 2.1% to 7.3%) believed a warm-up would prevent muscle, knee and ankle injuries, respectively. Years of playing experience were negatively associated with high adherence for coaches (OR=0.93; 0.88 to 0.99) and players (OR=0.92; 0.85 to 0.98).
Conclusions There were gaps in injury knowledge and beliefs, which differed for coaches and players. Beliefs did not significantly affect adherence to the FIFA 11+, suggesting additional motivational factors should be considered.
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