Physical Literacy and Injury Prevention Program

This program has been born because of several scary statistics:

  • Did you realize that 90% of all chronic over-use and severe sport injuries are related to how we move?
  • Only 7% of children and youth meet Canada’s guidelines of 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
  • 1.35 million children were seen in emergency departments with sports-related injuries in 2012.
  • Every 3 minutes, a child is seen in an emergency department for a sports-related concussion.
  • Girls are 8x more likely to have an ACL injury than boys and if you have had ACL surgery, you are 25x more likely to tear it again!

Helping a child lead an active healthy lifestyle is one of our most important goals as a society. Physical activity has been shown to:

  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Improve mental health, mood, the ability to cope with stress, and mental focus
  • Increase longevity with improved quality of life
  • Reduce the risk of some cancers
  • Help control weight and strengthen bones (preventing osteoporosis) and muscles
  • Improve the likelihood that they will adopt a healthy active lifestyle

Unfortunately many kids are becoming injured in the process and over 80% of kids over 13 years of age do not participate in organized sports. Health care professionals, researchers, coaches, parents and the broader sports community are coming together to change these alarming trends.




 At FITS we have joined the fight, partnering with the Stop Sports Injury Campaign, Exercise is Medicine, and many sport organizations to create an industry first, the “Physical Literacy and Injury Prevention Program” (PLIPP). This program targets kids that are aged 10 – 15 years of age to help them improve their Physical Literacy during a critical age in their development, where they are growing rapidly causing them to lose coordination and become more at risk for injuries and poor movement control that can last for a lifetime.

The most unique feature of this program is our Movement Development System, which is grounded on our research with over 4000 athletes, international collaboration with leading health care professionals, sport scientists and researchers, and published injury prevention research with proven results. Our program incorporates movement control strategies that have been shown to reduce: 

  1. Hamstring pulls
  2. Jumper`s Knee: Patellar Tendinopathy and Osgoode Schlaters
  3. ACL injuries
  4. Groin Injuries: Adductor strains, sport hernias,
  5. Hip Injuries
  6. Low Back Injuries
  7. Ankle Sprains
  8. Shoulder Injuries

There is no program as well researched as FITS Physical Literacy and Injury Prevention Program….

Our goal is simple, to reduce injury rates and to improve sport performance by teaching basic movement control and aerobic capacity. Specific initiatives that are part of the Physical Literacy and Injury Prevention Program include The Jumper’s Knee Project, ACL injury Prevention, and The Hockey Triad.




The key features of the PLIP Program are:

The Movement Development System

This systematic approach is comprised of movement standards and the methods to test and develop those standards. Specifically each athletes will develop:

  1. Fundamental Mobility and Awareness.
  2. Foundation Movement Development
  3. Foundation Speed Development
  4. Foundation System Stability and Balance
  5. Foundation Conditioning

Leading injury prevention strategies.

Our program is based on leading injury prevention strategies that combines our own research / work with international research and coaching / teaching pedagogy. Our program is age and development appropriate and involves knowledge from sports medicine, biomechanics, neuro-physiological development, and psycho-social development.

Homework Modules with industry leading support

Effective learning means the athlete can effectively demonstrate and explain key principles. To accomplish this critical part of their Physical Literacy, we provide them with homework. They are expected to know “FITS Movement Standards” and understand what we are trying to accomplish. When they understand, they can execute.

Improved self-confidence and love of sports

Confidence is tied to competence and goal achievement. Confidence is also based on understanding expectations / standards and the reality of how to achieve those standards. At FITS, we teach and explain the Key Movement Standards and we create a goal setting environment with accountability to teach self-confidence and a love of sport.

Life skills to lead an active health lifestyle

When a child feels confident because they can demonstrate correct movement patterns and they understand the standards they need to achieve, they are prepared for a life-time of active healthy living.

Congruent to the Long Term Athletic Development Model

The development of athletes at FITS is consistent with the LTAD and the CS4L models. In fact, FITS is responsible for the delivery of the LTAD across various Provincial sport and National Sport Organizations. Adopting this approach makes our programs appropriate for pathways involving the health of the nation, college and university, representing our nation, and professional pathways.

Improved Sport Performance – Yes, sport performance will improve

If you move well you will perform well. All athletes need a foundation of Physical Literacy, which not only helps prevent injuries but it will simultaneously improve sport performance. Surprising many programs think that injury prevention and performance are different. At FITS, we understand that movement control is the central principle that helps us prevent injuries while simultaneously improve performance.


“FITS Toronto has created and nurtures a very positive environment for my daughter (11 yrs old alpine ski racer) to train in. Training alongside older accomplished athletes is also a great motivator. She has learned a tremendous amount about movement and strength. In three short months this off-season, my daughter is noticably stronger and confident. She can’t wait to race again this Fall. Most important to me is that she is having fun. She actually looks forward to going to workouts at FITS!”

 – John Douglas, Parent

“My son has been working out at FITS for four years.  After one year of working out at FITS my son moved from the middle of the pack in his sport being one of the best.  Shortly after this success my son injured his knee and his ankle and underwent three reconstructive surgeries in less than a year.  The physiotherapists at FITS worked in concert with the doctors and my son has been able to return to his sport after a two year hiatus.    It is only because of the dedication of the FITS staff and the amazing program developed by Dr. Lam that my son has been able to return to his sport.  There is no other program that supports its athletes and has the “science” behind athlete development the way that Dr. Lam and FITS does.”

Wendy Papernick, Parent

“Brought my team in for a 10 week session as a prep for the upcoming summer season.  What I saw transpire was incredible with players dropping seconds of their 300yd shuttles and some players gaining as much as 4 inches in their vertical jumps.  The staff is fantastic, being athletes themselves, they know how to get the best out of each player.  The facilities where perfect and it was never crowded.  Some of our players used the Physiotherapy clinic with success.  I would recommend all coaches to use these resources and will be bringing all my teams here going forth.”

Kevin Barbosa, Soccer Coach

“Yes, you will improve your sport performance”

Elite sport performance is founded on physical literacy. Being able to control basic movements is a prerequisite to advanced movements. If we neglect fundamental Physical Literacy skills, such as running, jumping, pushing and pulling, injury risk increases and sport performance potential becomes lower – actually dramatically lower. It is like trying to plant a tree in concrete. However if you develop physical literacy, we`ve seen great results in speed, power, coordination, and body control which have led to significant sport performance improvements. Develop the proper foundation and results will be guaranteed.

Once the athlete has achieved their Physical Literacy standards they will be able to join our FLIGHT SCHOOL program, which is geared for athletes looking to develop elite levels of athleticism.

Physical LiteracyPhoto Source:

How We Prevent Injuries

Step 1: Poor Movement Quality

Young kids rarely realize they have movement control errors. We’ve tested over 1000 kids under the age of 12 and none were aware of movement dysfunctions, such as inward movement of the knees, pelvic shifts, and poor spine position.

Step 2: The Asymptomatic Period

Over several years these movement dysfunctions slowly begin to aggravate various tissues such as tendon, muscle, and joint structures. Think of this process as the build-up of plaque that lines our blood vessels and cardiovascular disease. It takes 90% occlusion of the blood vessel before symptoms of a heart attack or angina to occur. This is why we call movement dysfunctions the SILENT KILLER OF ATHLETICISM.

Step 3: Symptom Progression

A tissue that continues to be aggravated due to movement control errors will begin to breakdown leading to degenerative changes that can become permanent.

Step 4: Critical Failure

When an athlete becomes exposed to a load that greatly exceeds the athletes motor control, bad things will occur. For example, when the knee travels inwards; such as when landing from a jump, there is enough load that can cause an ACL rupture if the athlete cannot sufficiently control the knee. As a result, the load of landing becomes placed on the ACL which ruptures because it is not designed to handle these loads. Movement Control is the Key.


What’s the Process?

The first step is to be tested with our proprietary Injury Proof Screen and Performance Profile, in which the athlete is taken through a complete medical physical, a battery of physical performance tests, and a functional movement screen. A report will be developed that the athlete can take home. Results will be compared to normative data that is age and sport specific. When necessary, more advanced testing procedures may be required. These will be conducted in-house or the appropriate referral will be made to another professional. Based on the results, we’ll determine the most appropriate training group and we’ll make recommendations based on your test results, your aspirations, current strengths, weaknesses and risk of injury. Recommendations will pertain to:

  • frequency of training
  • type of training
  • homework
  • additional testing if necessary

To make an appointment call or email us:

FITS TORONTO E: T: 416.628.4333

By analyzing the results from the Injury Proof Screen and Performance Profile, we develop a customized periodized program that will improve your sport performance while helping you prevent injuries. Specific outcome measures and a timeline to achieve your specific goals are developed and explained. When appropriate, your coach and primary health care practitioner will receive your Performance Profile report and the copy of the program.
Now it’s time to train. Our athletic development team are prepared to guide you through every aspect of training. Emphasizing technique, and through a combination of Foundation Training and Performance Lifting through FULL SPECTRUM loading, we’re confident you’ll achieve your goals. To add to the process, we have a dedicated staff of health care professionals specializing in sport medicine to help you with injuries, regeneration, recovery, and nutrition.

Track and analyze. We have developed proprietary methods to monitor and track your performance. We’ll analyze and evaluate the effectiveness with which you are adapting to your program, which will help us refine it and reduce over-training and injuries, enabling consistent improvement.



Program Logistics

  • How to Start? Simply give us a call to schedule your appointment
  • Cost: Initial $90, Cost per session $35
  • Sessions: Monday to Friday 6:00 – 7:30pm, Saturdays 11:30 – 1:00pm (90 minute sessions)
  • Coach to Athlete Ratio: 1:5 – kids will be grouped according to age, development and physical literacy
  • Recommended Minimum # of sessions: 10 for learning
  • Team Rates: Call for team pricing and scheduling


  • Development through “The Movement Development System” by trained Movement Specialists
  • Leading Injury Prevention Strategies
  • Homework Modules with industry leading support
  • Improve self-confidence and love of Sports
  • Life Skills to lead an active healthy lifestyle
  • Improved sport performance

Additional Resources