Monday, August 20, 2012

Are you the Special One? Another look at potential
All of us are looking for people and players to work together who have the “potential”. How we judge the potential in football? In most cases we test the technical and physical abilities and from these numbers we judge athletes. We use simple test results to judge about the future of the players. Is this correct? To my opinion this is not correct. We use one point to draw a line! Single test results tell you where a player is, but it doesn’t tell you what he can achieve in the future!
 The use of single test results explains why some athletes who failed in initial tests they finally became great athletes. Of course this doesn’t mean we should not test and evaluate players. Testing and follow up are important components for the selection and development of players.

What is potential?
Can we judge potential from a simple test battery? Isn’t potential the players ability to improve skills and physical abilities with appropriate training? My view is that we should look for players who have certain or “enough” technical, physical potential at the beginning but, more importantly, who have the ability to improve with training. This ability depends on both genes and the player’s willingness to work harder and harder. If you want to read more on genes and adaptability click on the link
 Enough potential at the start, hard and deliberate practice may be the right mixture to future success or the way to fulfill your potential.

How much is enough?
How much fitness is enough in football? The answer depends on the combination of various components of football performance. Usually, highly skilled players perform very well with relatively lower general fitness compared with less skilled players. In general, to reach high competition levels, players need to achieve certain targets at different stages of their developmental years. Again, to evaluate the players ability don't judge from one test result. Give players at least two chances to show what they can do.

For more reading
Tucker and Collins. What makes champions? A review of the relative contribution of genes and training to sporting success. British Journal of Sports Medicine 46:555-561, 2012

1 comment:

Paul Clarke said...

Good post George, fully agree. Too many base a players future on what they are rather than what they can be. Too much scrutiny of the figures as well and not enough of the story behind those figures and scores....future success is as much about the personal qualities as it is about the playing qualities