The effect of participation in Gaelic football on the development of Irish professional soccer players

Paul Ford, A. Mark Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The developmental model of sport participation (DMSP) was proposed by Côté (1999). First, we examined whether the participation profiles of two groups of professional soccer players in Ireland who either had or had not played Gaelic football to an elite level in adolescence provided support for this model. Both groups commenced participation in soccer around 6 years of age and on average participated in two other sports between 6 and 18 years of age, excluding soccer and Gaelic football. A reduction in the number of other sports and an increase in hours devoted to the primary sport were observed between 6 and 18 years of age, as per the predictions of the DMSP. Second, we examined whether players who demonstrated early diversification required fewer soccer-specific hours to achieve expert performance in that sport compared with players who demonstrated less diversification or did not participate in Gaelic football. No significant relationships or differences were reported, which did not provide support for the DMSP, possibly due to the low sample size employed in this study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-722
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Volume30
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008

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