Football has been a big part of my life. She played on travel teams, competitively throughout high school, and even in Europe as part of homestays in Germany, the UK, and Denmark. In the Dana Cup, the German national team that remained with him under the age of 14 were a smaller player with exceptional passing skills and vision, while the Brazilian team looked like a 21-year-old with a more physical and dynamic style of play. Both teams were very good but different and were filled with many talented individual players who did well in concert.
I now play in an entertainment league mainly to play sports and also watch one of my kids play kids soccer at a very young age, the use of space throughout the stadium is an almost entirely foreign concept. And while I see some very early kids who have relatively exceptional skills, I wonder how one can tell if someone has a talent for the game? For example, some early mathematical miracles were identified based on their exceptional performance on a math test. What about football?
In a highly cited paper on identifying talent in football led by Triston Riley published in Sports Science Journal The authors explain that “there are many factors that predispose to a successful career in professional football. Chief among these are excellence in gaming skills and cognitive abilities to make the right decisions within the game… Players must possess moderate to high aerobic and anaerobic strength, and have agility Good mobility, joint flexibility, muscle development, and being able to generate high torque during speed movements.”
According to Kevin Till and Joseph Baker in frontiers in psychology There is still debate about whether or not it is better to specialize early in a particular sport. The authors note that the system for identifying and developing talent for professional football has grown exponentially over the past two decades, for example ‘English tier one football academies are reported to invest between £2.3 and 4.9 million annually… while the UK company has reported Sports is spending nearly £100 million annually to identify and develop sports talent.”
Now a new paper published in Quarterly Research for Exercise and Sports Written by Kathleen M. Poulsen and Brendon B. McDermott, Aaron J. Myers, Michelle Gray, Wayne Joe Law, and Matthew S. 15-30 Intermittent Field Test (IFT) (here’s a video of it being done live). Lead author Kathleen Poulsen, now at John Brown University, explained to me that:
“I played football at the University of Arkansas and when I was a player we had to pass 10 ‘tests’ before the season. We had to pass 7 out of 10 to be eligible to play. It ranged from 40 jets, to a temporary mile, to a high jump, to a dribbling test. and success I’ve always had major problems with this method of assessment because they were all separated from each other Football performance requires dealing with all of these elements at the same time, under pressure One of the most important and greatest elements of football performance (in my opinion as a coach) is the ability to burn And the ability to be outstanding in a technical component (dribbling at full speed) and performing under pressure (stress) at the same time. I have not seen a test/tool that is so multifaceted in its approach to identifying talent.”
To help remedy this, Kathleen and her colleagues added the dribbling component to the 30-15 IFT, which Kathleen explained is a fitness test used at the highest levels of women’s football: “This fitness test was perfect for adding the dribbling component for a variety of reasons. 1) She had enough distance between innings. To allow players to reach higher speeds 2) It had 3m long zones that the player must be inside (while allowing some realistic measure of error during dribbling). 3) It is a test that has become widely used by football players.”
As the authors conclude in their new paper: “The 30-15 IFT performed while dribbling a soccer ball may be a useful tool in assessing and identifying talent in elite women’s soccer and has been shown to be reliable.”
This study was conducted on individuals of college age. Thus, for a deeper study of whether the above tools can be used to identify talent in football and other sports in general, a good discussion comes from The athletic gene By David Epstein and this TED video about the importance of a sampling period to try new things and build a skill set. Additionally, Till and Baker, in their paper “Challenges and [possible] Solutions for better identification and development of talent in sport,” notes that early identification practices in football, for example, have been discussed for their potential lack of precision, and that “the goal of a talent identification decision is to correctly identify a developing athlete with the potential to become a player.” outstanding success in their sport.”