ACL Prevention for all


ESSKA-ESMA: ACL Prevention For All

Introduction & Warm-Up Exercise Videos & Posters

ACL Prevention For All - Introduction

ACL Prevention warm-up video and poster 1

acl prevention1

ACL Prevention warm-up video and poster 2

acl prevention2

ACL Prevention warm-up video and poster 3

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ACL Prevention warm-up video All

ESSKA-ESMA: ACL Prevention For All

The ESSKA-ESMA prevention program in children and adolescents


Injuries are increasing among young footballers. Young footballers are now starting with 6-7 years old in a so called “ludic Initiation” but, early specialization, and competition, as are frequent practice in football academies.

These children are removed from physically challenging childhoods to become “mini footballers”. Movement is now optional and what, in the past, was taken for granted, is now moved to a certain way where the footballer repetitive gestures replaces the ludic childhood athletic activity. However, it is fundamental to understand the huge benefits for children that play team sports such as football.

The overall incidence of ACL tears among 6 to 18 years old children, and adolescents, in sports, increased by 2.3 percent per year in Europe and USA1.

Instead of getting cross-training from multiple sports, and therefore using different muscle groups, this means the kids do the same thing over and over. This can lead to fatigue and an increased potential for injury, including ACL injury and cartilage damage.


esmi en esmily


Another potential cause is that children as athletes play with more intensity and force than 10 years ago, which may put the body at increased risk of injury.

There are many factors behind the increase number, the severity and different patterns in youth injuries but … the number one factor is specialization2.

In most circumstances, repetition, and high-intensity training, do not take into account the kid’s age and motivation. Young kids are a lot more vulnerable because they have soft cartilage, weak muscles and they’re still growing… However they begin suffering adult pattern injuries.

The increase of ACL injuries, among children and adolescents, in the last decade, all over the sports world, led the Board of ESMA (a Section of ESSKA), to develop an injury prevention programme, based on a video (available on the ESSKA Academy in English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish), with specific exercises according to different age groups (12-14, 15-17, 18-20 years old). Two characters, Esmi and Esmily demonstrate specific exercises to avoid knee injuries and how to stay fit according with scientific data already published 3,4. The purpose of this project is to spread the message, to minimize ACL injuries and its dramatic implications in sports career and health in young children, in schools, sports academies, sports associations, and sport teams all over Europe, and worldwide.

ESSKA-ESMA aims to validate this project following extensive research and by collecting data from different European countries in order to evaluate the protective effect of the programme. This ESSKA-ESMA official project can contribute in a fun but responsible way to motivate young people to join the group of prevention sports injuries supporters.


[1] Bram JT, Magee LC, Mehta NN, Patel NM, Ganley TJ. Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Incidence in Adolescent Athletes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Am J Sports Med. 2021 Jun;49(7):1962-1972.

[2] Beynnon BD, Vacek PM, Newell MK, Tourville TW, Smith HC, Shultz SJ, Slauterbeck JR, Johnson RJ. The Effects of Level of Competition, Sport, and Sex on the Incidence of First-Time Noncontact Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury. Am J Sports Med. 2014 Aug;42(8):1806-12.

[3] Hewett TE, Ford KR, Hoogenboom BJ, Myer GD. Understanding and preventing acl injuries: current biomechanical and epidemiologic considerations – update 2010. N Am J Sports Phys Ther. 2010 Dec;5(4):234-51.

[4] Benjaminse A, Verhagen E. Implementing ACL Injury Prevention in Daily Sports Practice-It’s Not Just the Program: Let’s Build Together, Involve the Context, and Improve the Content. Sports Med. 2021 Dec;51(12):2461-2467.

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