Analyzing Soccer Skills with the LSPT Test

LSPT test in progress, evaluating soccer players' skills and decision-making capabilities.

To determine whether MVV footballers improved on-field, I employed the LSPT test, officially known as the Loughborough Soccer Passing Test. This test gauges a player’s soccer abilities, ranging from passing, dribbling, shooting, to decision-making. As research by Vestberg et al., 2012 indicates, working memory plays a pivotal role in decision-making in soccer.

Read more: Analyzing Soccer Skills with the LSPT Test

Decoding Working Memory

Working memory briefly retains auditory and visual data, processes it, and then prompts an action. My hypothesis revolves around the LSPT measuring various skills, aiming to illustrate the working memory’s execution. Here’s the process: A player hears a color, scans the surroundings, spots the color, maneuvers the ball in that direction, and precisely aims it at a target. The speed of these actions is crucial, focusing on how promptly a player processes the input in their memory.

Findings from LSPT Research

A study by Ali et al., 2007 showcased elite players outperforming non-elite ones in the LSPT test (Elite: 43.6 s, s= 3.8; Non-elite: 52.5, s=7.4 P=0.0001). Each player undergoes the LSPT test, beginning with a practice trial on four colors. The test leader calls out colors, and the player’s speed is clocked in seconds. Penalties range from missing the target to hitting the wrong color.

LSPT test in progress, evaluating soccer players' skills and decision-making capabilities.

The LSPT Setup

Implementing the LSPT necessitates at least three test leaders. One announces the colors and tracks time, while the others observe the ball’s target point and player errors. At MVV, I supplemented this with two cameras for detailed analysis. A challenge with LSPT is its intricate nature, prone to potential errors. For instance, discerning whether a player hits the right color can be tough, even on camera.

Towards a Digital LSPT Future

To enhance reliability, digitizing the LSPT is the way forward. This eradicates scoring errors. Contemporary digital soccer tests like Footbonaut, 360s by Benfica, and SmartGoals are worth noting.

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