The aim of this experiment was to investigate whether there were differences in decision-making skills between different age groups (Under 16, 18 and 23) of elite academy footballers on a video-based task of real-life football scenarios. It also explored the relationship between individual performance on the task and the performance of the footballers on the pitch, as rated by three independent expert football coaches. This allowed us to examine whether this task is useful in predicting real-world decision-making skills. The results show that there was a significant difference in response times between response time was statistically significantly lower in U23 compared to U18 and U16 and there was no statistically significant difference between the U16 and the U18 groups, but no significant difference between age groups on the accuracy of response. The under 23 age group responded significantly quicker when compared to the under 18 and under 16 age group most quickly, then the U18, and finally, U16 footballers were the slowest on the task. In terms of comparing coaches' opinion about the players' decision-making skills and players performance on the task, there was a positive correlation between accuracy on the task and general decision-making skills rated by the coaches, suggesting that coaches have a good insight on what players can actually do as. However, coaches ratings of decision-making skills and response times on the task did not correlate suggesting that coaches are not aware of the speed of decision-making, and that this is only measurable by a representative task.
|Name||Progress in Brain Research|
- Elite athletes
- Talent identification