The developmental activities engaged in by elite youth soccer players who progressed to professional status compared to those who did not

Paul Ford, A. Mark Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: We examined differences in the development pathways of elite youth soccer players in England who progressed to professional status in adulthood compared to those who did not. Design Comparative research design. Method: Participants were elite youth soccer players (n=32, 15 years of age). They completed the Participation History Questionnaire (PHQ;Ford, Low, McRobert, & Williams, 2010) under supervision. Results: The participation history profiles of professional players followed theearly engagementpathway in which they engaged in significantly more soccer play and practice compared to elite youth players who did not become professional, supporting previous work (e.g.,Ford, Ward, Hodges, & Williams, 2009). The two groups of players engaged in four other sports, suggesting greater diversification than previously reported for soccer players, but less than that found in studies of team sport athletes in Australia and North America. Conclusions: Professional soccer players in England follow an early engagement pathway during childhood and early adolescence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-352
Number of pages4
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2011

Keywords

  • Expert performance
  • Skill acquisition
  • Development pathways

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