A Pilot Study Assessing the Foundation Matrix as Measurement Tool for Elite Youth Soccer

In 2009, soccer was the sport with the highest number of emergency room visits. Several studies show that there is a correlation between decreased neuromuscular control (NMC) and injuries in elite athletes. The correlation between reduced NMC and injuries is a large part of the foundation of this task. To get a good assessment of NMC, it is important that the screening involves mechanical, manual testing, and functional assessment. This study is based on the Performance Matrix system, a screening model developed by Foundation Matrix (FM). This model is designed to identify underlying instability in athletes.

Research Findings: A quantitative intervention study found the Foundation Matrix Screening as a useful injury prevention tool. It focuses on motivation and deltagelse with U17 and U19 elite football players.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of a seven week NMC training program for elite soccer players. This study emphasized motivating players through sport specific exercises in order to achieve a high participation rate during the training process.

Material and Methods: This quantitative intervention study was based on nine male elite youth soccer players aged 15-19 years. A seven week sport specific NMC training course was based on PS concept. Data was then analyzed using non-parametric statistics via the Mann-Whitney test.

Results: A significant improvement in FM score (P = 0,003) and a statistical correlation between FM delta and participation (P = 0,043) was found. There was a drop in motivation in the intervention process.

f matrix youth soccer

Conclusion: We can conclude that the players’ FM scores improved during the seven week training program. Additionally, a link between training volume and improvement in FM score was established. Based on the PS concept as well as our results, we can conclude that WL’s can be reduced in elite soccer players. Methodological sources of error and the size of the data set mean that the value of this study is limited.

Perspective: Due to the size of this study it should be interpreted as a pilot study for future research.  In order to allow for evidence based research in this field, randomized controlled trial (RCTs) with a higher number of participants will be required.

Author:  Emil Rohde Larsen, Alexander Dencker Svendsen, Nikolaj á Rógvi Rasmussen
School:  Professionshøjskolen UCC, Fysioterapeut uddannelsen Nordsjælland
Supervisor: Pernille Thomsen Lektor, Fysioterapeut, Med. [email protected]
Contact person: Alexander Dencker Svendsen. [email protected]

Read more here