The Perfect Choice

What skills make the difference in decision making under pressure during a match? You want to know everything about why certain talents do make the difference more than others?

More Info Results The tests

The Perfect Choice Research

Who are the best talents and how do you recognise them? What specific skills to look for and how do you judge levels? One of the most important skills in football is decision-making.The master himself, Johan Cruyff used to say: “Football you play with your head”.

What choices do players make on the ball, specifically when pressure levels of opponents increase? With The Perfect Choice research project, Forward Football and VU Amsterdam (Human Movement Science) investigate which players make better choices under pressure and which skills they distinguish themselves. For this purpose a scientifically substantiated skills test set-up was developed and LPM player & smart ball tracking position data was used during matches.



What is the influence of increasing levels of pressure (by opponents) on decision making on the ball?


Decision Making

For the decision making part of the research we developed, trained and tested a Machine Learning (AI) data model, that allows an objective assessment of the pass performance of all players. The model predicts the success rate of each pass of a player (benchmark). When we compare the real pass completion numbers of the player(s) during a match with the benchmark, we have the objective assessment by means of the Pass Performance Ratio (PPR).

In the PPR have been taken into account:   


 Was the pass successful  (completed) or not?


 Position on the pitch of the passing player and the receiving player. 

Pressure levels

Full pressure, half pressure or no pressure of opponent(s).


Direction (angles) of the pass: Forward, lateral or backward. 


The Distance of the pass: 0-5 mtrs, 5-10 mtr, 10-15 mtr or 15 mtr >

Key Figures

Nr of Clubs: 6

Nr. of Players: 189

Age Category: U13 – U14

Nr of Matches: 11

Nr. of match minutes: 770  

Nr of Passes: 3.500


Together with VU Amsterdam and our partner Eyecentre we developed a skills test set-up with 6 different skills tests that provides results on approximately 50 parameters regarding ball control, passing, dribbling, positioning, coordination and sport vision.

Football skills Test

A slalom, sprint, backward dribble, figure 8 and passing parcours.

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Does the player have a good action speed and how is the ballcontrol and passefficiency?

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Coordination Tests

Does the player have the right coordination and moving skills for the perfect thechnical execution of the pass?

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Sports Vision

Is the player aware of the positions of his or her teammates and defenders and can he or she process the information quickly in order to act right?

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Game Insight

Does the player create space for him or herself, after the right visual cues in order to receive the ball?

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Pass Test

The Passing Test gives insight in the ball/passing skills of a player. Pass accuracy, ball controll and decision making are important.

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Football Skills Test

The Football Skills Track measures the dribble skills and ball control of a player. A player is expected to complete a parcours as quickly as possible. Factors as dribble speed, maneuverability and accuracy are important. The end score is the time in seconds the player needed to complete the parcours. Based on the shot at the end, a time penalty can be given of 1 (post) or 2 (miss) seconds. 


Ball control

It all starts with technique. This relatively easy test was designed specifically to test the basic skills of ballcontrol. The Insait Joy Tech.Football is connected to the app through intelligent technology (Tech Inside). The ball measures frequency, fluency and numbers of several different drills.

Coordination Tests

With the ktk3+ the general motor coordination skills can be measured. The test measured four different components of coordinationmoving sideways (on a straight line with two wooden platforms), hopping sideways (back and forth over a beam), hand-eye coordination (throw and catch a tennis balland balance (on three different beam sizes). For every section it was important to take the most steps, perform the most jumps or throw and catch the most within a specific time. Point can be achieved for all of the components and with the sum of all points the MQ-score can be calculated (like IQ scores) 


Sports vision

In sports, almost 80% of perceptual input is visual. Just because athletes can see clearly doesn’t mean they can ascertain where an object is in space, how fast it’s traveling, or if it’s changing direction. RightEye Sports Vision identifies opportunities to strengthen performance by:

  • Objectively quantifying athletic performance by gathering the amplitude and velocity of rapid, involuntary, and oscillatory ocular movements
  • Comparing vision skill from a range of levels from youth to professional
  • Improving sports vision with customized training programs and drills

Game Insight

In the Game Insight Test the player watches soccer specific videos which stop -80 ms before, during (0ms) or +80 ms after a pass is given. The player needs to position himself as fast as possible in order to receive the ball. The score is based on a combination of chosen direction (left, middle or right), chosen area (one of the six areas) and time (as fast as possible).The XBOX Kinect Sensor registers the position over time of the football player during the test. We use this data to find out whether the player was fast enough to receive the ball if it was a real game, looking at the flight time of the ball. Is the player able to predict where the ball is coming and can he position himself quick and correct in order to receive the ball?

Pass Test

The passing test gives insight in the ball/passing skills of a player. Pass accuracy, ball controll and decision making are important.

The Results

Please come back soon to check all results of this research project!

If you would like to receive the results in a PDF-document as soon as all results are in, please shoot us a message through the contact form!