USWNT's Mitts Leads Clinic for Chargers

Injury-prevention clinic educates players, parents and coaches

USWNT's Mitts Leads Clinic for Chargers

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chargers SC Feature
CLEARWATER, Fla. – Chargers SC players, parents and coaches enjoyed a special evening Monday at the Eddie C. Moore Complex as U.S. Women’s National Team star Heather Mitts, a three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, led an injury prevention clinic presented by DePuy Mitek.
More than 75 Chargers SC players from the Tampa, Lakewood Ranch and Clearwater U12, U13 and U14 age groups participated in the event and were led through a training session by Mitts and Chargers SC coaches that focused on FIFA 11+ and its 15 exercises and strength building movements to help prevent injuries, specifically ACL tears.
Mitts also conducted a Q&A session for the players and parents, and stuck around to sign autographs for everyone.
"Throughout my time as a professional soccer player, I suffered numerous injuries that caused me to miss some important and potentially career-changing games," Mitts said. "I don’t want young players to have to miss out on any opportunities because they are injured. That’s why I’m supporting the Sports Injury Prevention Program in its effort to educate players, parents and coaches on the importance of injury prevention warm-ups, such as FIFA 11+."
As an official sports medicine sponsor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, DePuy Mitek has launched a national Sports Injury Prevention Program to educate parents, coaches and young athletes about the importance of preventing sports-related injuries. As part of the Sports Injury Prevention Program, which includes the FIFA 11+ warm-up program, DePuy Mitek teamed up with Mitts and Dr. Marc Hilgers, a local surgeon from the Florida Orthopaedic Institute, for the free educational clinic that gave young Chargers SC soccer players, and their parents and coaches, a hands-on opportunity to learn more about sports-related injury prevention and treatment.
FIFA 11+, the cornerstone of the Sports Injury Prevention Program, is a warm-up program designed to reduce injuries among athletes aged 14 years and older. FIFA 11+ leverages the body’s natural defense mechanisms to help athletes become more resistant to injuries by teaching preventive techniques — such as how to properly jump or land. Published scientific studies have evaluated FIFA 11+’s effectiveness and found that teams performing the FIFA 11+ at least twice a week had 30-50 percent fewer injured players.
"DePuy Mitek has a long history of sponsoring sports injury education, and we are underscoring our commitment in this area by leveraging our Sports Injury Prevention Program to raise awareness of FIFA 11+ at our clinic in Tampa, just as we will at upcoming clinics in Orlando and Miami," said Ian Lawson, President of DePuy Mitek. "Through our ongoing educational efforts, including our online materials and resources, we hope to help young athletes stay on the field and off the sidelines." 
Comprehensive information on the Sports Injury Prevention Program, including videos and FIFA 11+ exercise demonstrations from Alex Morgan, member of the 2012 U.S. team that won gold at the London Olympics, and Cobi Jones, three-time FIFA World Cup participant and former Olympian, can be found on the program’s Facebook page:
Additionally, as part of the Sports Injury Prevention Program, DePuy Mitek is sponsoring free educational clinics in 16 U.S. cities.
"I see a lot of sports-related injuries in my office, and I always tell my patients that an injury prevention warm-up, such as FIFA 11+, should be incorporated into weekly routines in an effort to avoid future injuries," Dr. Hilgers said. "However, some injuries are unavoidable, and if an injury does occur, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention."

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