T Laske
C Reyes


T. Laske, C. Reyes

Linfield University, McMinnville, Oregon

Skills and physical training are very important when it comes to team sports. But it is also important to include cognitive and reactive abilities when it comes to athlete preparation and profiling. PURPOSE: To provide athlete profile information on cognitive and reaction time capabilities in collegiate soccer players. METHODS: Participants were men’s and women’s NCAA Division III soccer players (n=19; 5 men and 14 women). They were divided into their positions groups: goal keepers (GK), defenders (D), midfielders (MF), and forwards (F). Each participant reported to the Sports Science lab for a testing session. The session consisted of measuring wingspan (length from fingertip to fingertip with shoulders abducted 90-degrees), then cognitive athletic abilities using a sensorimotor station (Senaptec, Beaverton, OR). The sensorimotor tests quantified 7 different metrics that related to depth perception, decision making, and hand-eye coordination. The final test consisted of a reactive agility box test, where the participants were asked to complete a movement-based test as quickly as possible by reacting to random lights (Microgate, Bolzano, Italy). All variables were then analyzed based on the position played using Analysis of Variance. RESULTS: No significant differences were noted in wingspan between positions. Regarding the sensorimotor abilities, MF displayed significantly better scores in decision-making (p = 0.02), and there was a trend towards MF having better hand-eye coordination (p = 0.08). GK trended towards better depth perception compared to the other positions (p = 0.09). In the reactive agility test, GK trended towards having lower times, which is a combination of movement speed and decision-making (p = 0.09). CONCLUSION: The data indicated no significant differences in wingspan between soccer positions, but there were significant cognitive differences between positions. Professionals should consider implementing cognitive training for athletes, especially with demands differing from sport to sport, and position to position. Further research should aim to express the importance of cognitive and reactive capabilities in athlete profiling to help develop and enhance athlete programming, as well as increasing the population size that is tested and profiled.

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