Learning and Talent in Soccer

Jaime Serra Olivares

Luis M. García-López

Antonio Calderón Luquin

*Corresponding author: Jaime Serra-Olivares jaime.serra@uclm.es

Original Language

Cite this article

Serra-Olivares, J., García-López, L. M., & Calderón, A. (2017). Learning and Talent in Soccer. Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 129, 64-77. https://doi.org/10.5672/apunts.2014-0983.es.(2017/3).129.05



The ecological validity of three representative games of the invasion games tactical problems (keeping possession, attacking the goal and scoring) for assessing the game performance of 21 U-10 youth soccer players was analyzed. Data were analyzed according to the year of competition of the players in U-10 categories (First or Second) and the level of expertise. Second year players game performance was significantly higher in decisions for keeping in the game that represented this tactical problem (U = 33, p = .051, r = .44), and in passing decisions for keeping in the attacking game (U = 33, p = .044, r = .42). The level of expertise correlated significantly with the game performance in getting-free decisions and executions (rho = .573, p = .007; rho = .620, p = .003) for keeping in the keeping game, and also in the getting-free executions for attacking in the scoring game (rho = .480, p = .028). Less skilled players showed significantly higher values in the “spectator player” behavior in the scoring game (rho= –.521, p = .015). The findings are discussed in relation to the ecological validity of the games for learning and talent assessments.

Keywords: Ecological Validity, Game Performance, Modified Games, Representativeness.

ISSN: 1577-4015

Received: July 8, 2016

Accepted: September 8, 2016

Published: July 01, 2017