Test shows footballers are better at thinking outside the box
Thursday 05 April 2012
The antics of the Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, who shot an intern with an air rifle, and Mario Balotelli of Manchester City, who accidentally set his house ablaze with fireworks, hardly inspire confidence in the mental capacities of footballers.
However, Swedish scientists say top players have significantly better cognitive functions than the average person, and are good at solving problems and multi-tasking.
Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm gave 29 players in Sweden's highest leagues a test in design fluency. They were shown a drawing of dots, and had to bind the dots together in as many ways as possible within a minute. Their average score placed them in the top 5 per cent of those who took the exam, and they rated higher than players in lower football leagues.
Liselotte Maurex, who co-wrote a report in the journal Plos One, said: "You might think that by heading the ball, you would get problems with concussion [but the results weren't a surprise]. The test required them to think creatively, and [be] flexible solving problems. It is similar to the game itself, because you need to think of different positions to put yourself in and you need to be pretty fast," she said.
The researchers hope the tests could be useful for football clubs when choosing which young players to develop.
Threat of 'catastrophic cascade of collisions' involving 300,000 pieces of rubbish must be averted, warn scientists
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Oxford is the least affordable city in the UK, where houses cost 11 times local salaries
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client is a leading digital agency bu...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Charter Selection: Global leader in its respective ...
£130 - £161 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Do you have a qualificatio...
£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: The school is much la...