Soccer roles influenced by psychological profiles

Are you an avid soccer person? Always wanted to be a top striker or courageous goalkeeper? Science has proven that the position you play in is most likely influenced by your psychological profile. 

Not getting the ball in the net or fumbling over crosses? Well, you may just need to do a psychological test and find the position that suits you the best. 

Spanish researchers have conducted a study on 167 youths who played futsal and competed in the Championship of Spain Selections. 

The study assessed players on the following traits – self confidence, mental attitude and preparation, stress control, concentration and motivation. The traits were assessed on a numerical scale and a summation of the total scores were calculated. 

The results show that players in different positions had very different psychological profiles.

SC: stress control, MA: mental attitude and preparation, CS: Control of Stress,  CO: Concentration, MO: Motivation

Goalkeepers had the best psychological profile and hence sports performance, they exhibited the highest levels of self confidence and stress control. 

Wingers had the least self confidence and universal players had the least scores in stress control. 

When players took on a more offensive position, their psychological scores diminished. They had lower scores of stress control and concentration. 

Concentration of the players determined how much mental focus players had to put in to achieve high sports performance. Defenders have to exhibit a high level of concentration so that they can recover possession of the ball, take less risks and hence achieve a higher sport performance. 

Low self confidence is associated with anxiety and stress. When players’ self confidence is high, they were less stressed and hence had higher sporting performance. 

Researchers also found that when training intensity increased, players were less stressed. Having more trainings boosted players’ confidence. 

What the results mean?

Players in different positions have very different psychological make ups. Targeting the traits which players have lower scores can vastly improve sports performance. 

Creating psychological assessments for teams could be an essential part in determining player roles and hence achieve team success. 

Trainers can come up with new regimes which take into consideration the psychological, physiological, technical, tactical and team dynamic factors. 

Article Source: Does the psychological profile influence the position of promising young futsal players?
Álvarez-Kurogi L, Onetti W, Fernández-García JC, Castillo-Rodríguez A (2019) Does the psychological profile influence the position of promising young futsal players?. PLOS ONE 14(11): e0224326.

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