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Footballers score high as trouble-shooters: study

Footballers score high as trouble-shooters: study

Published: 05 Apr 2012 07:12 GMT+02:00
Updated: 05 Apr 2012 07:12 GMT+02:00

Football players are better at solving problems than others, and those that score the most are the absolute best, according to a new Swedish study from the Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Stockholm.

“If you compare how people in general do in this test, the professional footballers were among the top two percent of the population,“ said Predag Petrovic of the department of clinical neuroscience at KI, to Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT).

When the scientists tested 57 players from the top two Swedish professional league, the Allvenskan and Division 1, they found that both male and female players were significantly better at solving problems in psychological tests than the average Swede.

“You could say that the test measures a person’s general ability to be creative in the moment and constantly find new solutions to a problem, something that a football player has to be able to do if they are to be successful on the field,” Petrovic told UNT.

And the better the player and higher the league they played in, the better the results.

After following the players for two seasons, the scientists also found that the players that had scored highest in the tests also performed better on the football field with a higher number of scores and assists.

Petrovic thinks that the test may become an important tool when recruiting young players to the football clubs, but stressed that the study was still not very extensive and that further testing would be necessary.

“We are also planning to investigate if this test could be used the same way to predict success within team handball, ice hockey, basketball and other team sports,” Petrovic told UNT.

The study will be published in the esteemed medial journal PLoS One.

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Your comments about this article

08:33 April 5, 2012 by tendance
Do not dare use this as a recruiting tool. It will be catastrophic. Let me get this right!!! Is it the player's skill that makes him a better problem solver or is it the other way round. I guess for this researcher, all research avenues have been occupied, otherwise i do not know what lead him to carrying out this study. Oh...!!! and now he can apply for funding to extend the study
08:54 April 5, 2012 by Gletta
This says a lot about the average Swede!

I guess it is difficult to sit down in the middle of a pitch for a group discussion on how to solve the problem and come to some consensus, so they have to think for themselves and the higher grade of football the quicker they have to do it
09:21 April 5, 2012 by EP
Funny hearing about being "absolute best" from Swedes, I thought it was only lagom here ;-)
09:36 April 5, 2012 by rob582
Batter? Cook much do they?
11:45 April 5, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
I would have thought that, given the nature of the footballer's job, SHARP-shooting skills, on the pitch might be at least as necessary as 'trouble-shooting' skills
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