Within the multidimensional nature of soccer talent, recently there has been an increasing interest in psychological characteristics. The aim of this present research was to systematically review the predictive value of psychological talent predictors and provide better comprehension of the researchers' methodological approaches and the empirical evidence for individual factors (i.e., psychomotor, perceptual-cognitive and personality-related). Results highlighted heterogeneous study designs (e.g., participants, measurement methods, statistical analyses) which may limit the comparability of studies' findings. Analyzing the number of included studies, psychomotor (n = 10) and personality-related factors (n = 8) received more consideration within the literature than perceptual-cognitive factors (n = 4). In regard to empirical evidence, dribbling (0.47 d 1.24), ball control (0.57 d 1.28) and decision-making (d = 0.81) demonstrated good predictive values as well as the achievement motives hope for success (0.27 d 0.74) and fear of failure (0.21 d 0.30). In conclusion, there is growing acceptance of the need for more complex statistical analyses to predict future superior performance based on measures of current talent. New research addresses the necessity for large-scale studies that employ multidisciplinary test batteries to assess youth athletes at different age groups prospectively.
Murr, D., Feichtinger, P., Larkin, P., O’Connor, D., & Höner, O. (2018). Psychological talent predictors in youth soccer: A systematic review of the prognostic relevance of psychomotor, perceptual-cognitive and personality-related factors. PLoS ONE, 13(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205337