Rooney’s take on decision-making in football

“I think, I suppose, when you are younger, you’re always …you’re a bit more advanced than the kids your age, so there are times on the pitch where you can see different things, but they can’t obviously see it.

So then it’s like you get annoyed, but they are not obviously …It’s like you said before. They can’t calculate. I suppose it’s like when you play snooker, you’re always thinking three or four shots down the line. I suppose with football, it’s like that. You’ve got to think three or four passes where the ball is going to come to down the line. And I think the very best footballers, they’re able to see that before … Much quicker than a lot of other footballers. So …”

“When a cross comes into a box, there’s so many things that go through your mind in a split second, like five or six different things you can do with the ball. You’re asking yourself six questions in a split second. Maybe you’ve got time to bring it down on the chest and shoot, or you have to head it first-time. If the defender is there, you’ve obviously got to try and hit it first-time. If he’s farther back, you’ve got space to take a touch. You get the decision made. Then it’s obviously about the execution.”

“What people don’t realize is that it’s obviously a physical game, but after the game, mentally, you’re tired as well. Your mind has been through so much. There’s so many decisions you have to make through your head. And then you’re trying to calculate other people’s decisions as well. It’s probably more mentally tiring than physically, to be honest.”

Wayne Rooney – for the full article see: Beautiful game. Beautiful mind.

Gert-Jan Pepping is a consultant, researcher, and senior lecturer in Psychology of Human Movement and Sport at the School of Exercise Sciences of ACU, Brisbane.

Posted in Football

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