Fundamental relationships of executive functions and physiological abilities with game intelligence, game time and injuries in elite soccer players

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Objectives: The study’s aim was threefold: examine 1) the relation between executive functions and coach-rated evaluation of game intelligence; 2) the predictive value of cognitive and athletic performance parameters concerning playing time, and 3) injuries to analyze fundamental associations of soccer expertise across all ages. Design/Methods: A sample of 172 elite soccer players (12-34 years of age) performed tests assessing multiple-object tracking, working memory capacity, cognitive flexibility, and inhibition. Endurance-performance at the individual anaerobic threshold (IAT), ability to repeatedly perform intense exercises (RIEA) and maximal anaerobic performance parameters (squat jump, countermovement jump, drop jump, sprint) were also measured. Game intelligence game time and injury incidence were tracked. Results: Working memory capacity, cognitive flexibility, and a total cognition score showed correlations with game intelligence, and the same parameter, along with selective attention and game intelligence, were also correlated with game time. Sprint and RIEA were connected with game time, whereas contact injuries only correlated with sprint, and noncontact injuries with sprint and performance-IAT. Conclusion: Especially executive functions represent fundamental associations with game intelligence and game time across all age groups but not with injury incidences, whereas certain physiological abilities may contribute to more game time and less non-contact injuries depending on age.
ZeitschriftApplied Cognitive Psychology
Seiten (von - bis)1535-1546
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 14.10.2021

ID: 6622292


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