Executive Functioning Predicts The Success of Top Soccer Players (Sweden)
STUDY: 14 male and 15 female players – Swedish Allsvenskan league (HD), 17 male players from Swedish 3rd division, and 11 female players from 2nd division (LD). Measures: Design Fluency (measures multiprocessing, creativity, impulse control, and cognitive flexibility). Findings: both HD and LD had significantly better measures compared to the norm group (men & women), but HD players outperformed the LD in these tests. In addition, a significant correlation was evident between higher EF and numbers of goals and assists.

Executive Functioning In Highly Talented Soccer Players (Netherland)
STUDY & MEASURES: 8-16 years old players, 84 in pro or national academies, and 42 amateur soccer players (same area as other players). Both groups were tested in Stop Signal Task (measures response inhibition or impulse control) & Attention Network Test (measures: orienting, alerting, and executive control). Findings: Highly talented youth soccer players outperform youth amateur players in suppressing ongoing motor responses and on the ability to attain and maintain an alert state.

Possible Requirement of Executive Functions For High Performance in Soccer (Japan)
STUDY: included 383 male soccer players between ages 8-11, several years of playing experience, and applying to an elite youth program of a Japanese Football League club. 8 professional coaches assessed soccer performance levels, during game format, 7v7, no goalkeepers, 30 x 50 m pitch. Admission was based on subjective feedback from coaches. Measures: Stroop Test (impulse control and information processing speed/accuracy), Design Fluency Test (planning, cognitive flexibility, creativity, working memory). Other (Grit, Resiliency, Profile of Mood States, Multidimensional Scale of perceived social support). Findings: Even though admission (Japanese Football Academy) was determined by subjects’ soccer performance, the approved group significantly outperformed the rejected group in the Stroop Test and Design Fluency.

Core Executive Functions Are Associated With Success In Young Elite Soccer Players (Sweden)
STUDY: 49 boys top youth soccer from an elite soccer academy in Sweden (born 1994-2001), playing top level at their respective age group. Measures: CS (CogStateSports, measures decision making, attention, cognitive process speed, speed and accuracy, short-term memory, working memory), Design Fluency, Trail Making Test, Other. Findings: suggesting that general executive functions are important for success in soccer. Can it be developed in training? Suggesting mostly genetics, but small improvement may be critical.

Cognitive Training In Soccer: Where Is The Key Point (Italy, 2018)
INTRO: EF in recent years has become a golden reference in sports success. Soccer is an open-skill sport (an unstable environment defines decision-making). Purpose: investigate what cognitive training is and what could be adequate stimulation to improve the executive function of soccer players. Review: success in soccer depends on how info is processed, the close relation between environment and decision, cognitive training as a solution for young players, and early childhood problem-solving situations.





“You cannot dream yourself into a character;
you must hammer and forge yourself one.”

— James Anthony Froude —