Working Memory Training in Professional Football Players: A Small-Scale Descriptive Feasibility StudyThe Importance of Personality, Psychological Well-Being, and Motivational Factors

Dymphie In de Braek*, Kay Deckers, Timo Kleinhesselink, Leonie Banning, Rudolf Ponds

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Working memory training (WMT) programs can improve working memory (WM). In football players, this could lead to improved performance on the pitch. Method: Eighteen professional football players of Maatschappelijke Voetbal Vereniging Maastricht (MVV) participated and followed an online, computerized WMT program. Neuropsychological performance, psychological wellbeing, self-efficacy, and football skills (Loughborough Soccer Passing Test; LSPT) were assessed at three time points, before and after WMT and at three-month follow-up. Descriptive data are reported. Results: Baseline characteristics were roughly similar for both groups. Participants performed better on the trained WM tasks, but performance for other neuropsychological test measures or the LSPT did not change. Low compliance rates were observed, showing differences in personality and well-being between compliers and non-compliers. Conclusions: WMT is not a feasible and effective strategy to improve non-trained cognitive measures and football performance. However, this study indicates that it is important to take individual characteristics into account.

Original languageEnglish
Article number89
Number of pages10
JournalSports
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Keywords

  • working memory training
  • football players
  • feasibility
  • BLOCK-TAPPING TASK
  • COLOR-WORD-TEST
  • VALIDITY
  • QUESTIONNAIRE
  • RELIABILITY
  • CHILDREN
  • SAMPLE
  • TESTS

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