How do scouts identify talented soccer players?



The identification of talented soccer players is very challenging. It is often the responsibility of scouts or coaches, who need to make selection decisions: Which players have the greatest potential to excel in the future [1]? The aim of the current study was to examine how scouts make these decisions. Through an online self-report questionnaire, 125 Dutch soccer scouts were asked about (1) the age at which they can predict players’ future performance, (2) the attributes they consider most relevant, and (3) the extent to which they predict performance in a structured manner. The most important results were, first, that scouts of young players (under-12) did not believe they could reliably predict future performance at such young ages. Second, scouts mostly take general technical attributes into account when selecting players. Third, scouts reported that they assess attributes of players in a structured manner. Yet, they ultimately based their final assessments of players by intuitively integrating scores on different performance attributes. These outcomes provide clues to improve the reliability and validity of the talent identification process. More specifically, talent identification in soccer may advance by incorporating methodological principles from selection psychology. This field is concerned with how to best select candidates for different achievement domains, yet has hardly been considered in the sports domain [2,3].
Originele taal-2English
StatusPublished - jun.-2022
EvenementWorld Congress on Science and Soccer 2022 - Coimbra, Portugal
Duur: 15-jun.-202217-jun.-2022


ConferenceWorld Congress on Science and Soccer 2022
Verkorte titelWCSS 2022
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