Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Air Force/Photo by Master Sgt. Lance Cheung

If You're Great at One Thing, You're Bad at Another, Soccer Study Suggests

You can't be good at everything. Researchers have figured out a way to quantify individual soccer players' motor skills—endurance, speed, and ability to maneuver a ball—and found clear trade-offs in these abilities. The analysis, described today in The Journal of Experimental Biology, analyzed the performance of 40 amateur players in 10 athletic tasks, finding, for example, that those with top speed lacked endurance, while those with the best endurance fared worst in power exercises. The biologist who led the group that developed the quantitative method is now interested in using the algorithm for discovering soccer talent in younger players.

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