Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Athletic Training

Committee Chair

Michelle A. Sandrey.


Context. There are no concise and thorough core and lower quarter exercises for functional rehabilitation found in the literature or the clinical setting for soccer. An exercise program is needed to assist clinicians in developing sport specific functional rehabilitation programs. Objective. The purpose of this study was to develop a concise soccer specific functional rehabilitation program. Design. This was a prospective descriptive study following the Modified Delphi Technique to develop exercise components to include in a functional rehabilitation program based on opinion from a panel of experts. The dependent variable was the responses ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Setting. This study took place at West Virginia University. Patients or other participants. Participants consisted of Certified Athletic Trainers (n=9 round one, n=6 round two) and Physical Therapists (n= 7 round one, n= 5 round two) with a minimum of five years clinical experience and criteria for selection of the researchers were based on publications and presentations on soccer. Eighteen clinical Certified Athletic Trainers, Physical Therapists and researchers participated in the first round. Eleven participants completed the second round. Interventions. Exercises to be included in a functional rehabilitation program was through a series of successive revisions with input being offered from colleagues. Three questionnaires were utilized in this study. The demographic questionnaire was e-mailed to the participants with the first round questionnaire. The panel was asked to fill out questions about credentials and experience and asked to respond to the exercise components on the Likert scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The participants submitted the questionnaire online. A link to the second questionnaire with means score, percentages and additional write in comments from round one was sent to the participants. Follow-up letters for the first and second rounds were e-mailed to the participants one week before the due dates as reminders to complete the questionnaire. The responses from the second questionnaire contributed to the development of the functional rehabilitation program. Main outcomes measures. With a consensus of the participants (75% strongly agree and agree and a mean score of 4) the responses for each exercise section would be similar. The hypotheses included: dynamic flexibility, single leg balance, lunge sequencing, heel raise sequencing, squat sequencing, plyometrics, core stabilization and functional activity progression. Results. The initial questionnaire consisted of 168 exercise components. After the second round, 81 of the proposed exercise components reached consensus and therefore were used to develop the final program. The final program consisted of what should be included in a soccer specific functional rehabilitation program based on best clinical practice and evidence based guidelines. Conclusion. The responses from both rounds by the panel of experts led to the development of the soccer specific functional rehabilitation program. Although there was a dropout of seven participants, this program is still representative of Major League Soccer ATCs, PTs, and soccer researchers. Since the remaining exercise components are supported by evidence based research and best clinical practice, this program can serve as a guideline for a soccer specific functional rehabilitation program. Additional studies should be conducted for the development of a functional rehabilitation program.