Creativity and decision Making in modern Soccer

Evolution? Can we call this evolution? As we know Football is a reflex of society and all the intervenients are inevitably part of it. How can this affect two essential aspects in football, creativity and decision making ?

In these days our brains are overloaded with information, we overthink, we have a huge amount of decisions to make everyday, multiple options and a huge pressure from the society to make the “right” choices.

A footballer is not different, the principle is the same despite the fact that in a game they make a much higher volume of decisions than most of people does in 90 minutes.

Professionals that have a life outside the pitch, an image to “sell”, sponsorships, events, family and a large number of followers always aware of all movements as smallest as that those can be.

We live in an era where information circulates almost instantaneously, where a simple post in social media can became viral in a few minutes, in a world where every move and step we do must be very well weighted, specially when we have a professional football career to manage.

All this affects our egos in one way or another and when a player, not mattering how professional and on what level he is, has this “pressure” on his subconscious, exception made for a very few that are the ones that manage to build a strong mind and confidence, ignoring other people’s thinking making them be closest to achieve success on their careers.

On top of this, today’s players are overloaded with information about the opponents (Team and Players ) and obviously with each managers methods that are implemented that also need to absorbed and learned.

In terms of image and communication when we talk about top level players, we all know that they hire people to manage their social media, their image and also to build a communication strategy. This also allows them to have more “freedom” of concerns that leads in theory to have a better performance as a clearer mind inside the pitch lead to better decisions.

The main points on this reflexion are creativity and decision making.

If we analyse football these days, I believe that most of us agree that creativity and “freedom” for the players to make their own choices inside the pitch is decreasing. This is directly related with the aspects that above mentioned and also the fact that players are becoming purely athletes, “robots” that are more and more similar to each other. Like in society people are “manipulated” to copy others, to follow some patterns and in football is not different. An identity crisis is happening and many people choose to close their eyes to this subject as it’s easier to copy, even knowing that the results will never be the same. We have as example National teams and clubs that lost their identities of playing to “copy” a formula that many believe to be the “secret” one, but don’t take in consideration, many essential aspects as cultural aspects, mentalities, personalities that are different from place to place, from country to country and sometimes even inside the own country itself, when they try to implement this “formula”.

As example we have Brazil, where is Brazil playing like Brazil, Argentina playing Like Argentina? Are they obtaining better results? Are they producing better players? We all know the answers.

Shouldn’t we all have our own identity and ideias, accordingly to many aspects that we cannot avoid? One thing is to maximize potential and even “copy” or replicate ideas and aspects that can be adapted to our own reality, another is to try to change the nature of things and at the end obtain worse results that are not even a reflex of our own ideas.

If we set strict rules to a musician, to a painter or to a writer, his creativity and art will not touch or even touch people, it will be just a product that will not remain timeless.

Let’s all hope that more Messi’s can have the freedom to create, to makes us go to a stadium and specially to enjoy football and not make it just a sport where everything is analysed by numbers and “specialists”.

Let’s give freedom to players since young age to make their own decisions, right or wrong, doesn’t matter, but give them freedom, supporting them and teach them to improve and to learn with the bad decisions made and enhance the good ones.

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Nuno Milheiro
Nuno Milheiro is an experienced Soccer Scout with previous experiences as FC Porto youth teams scout, he was also the Head of Scouting and Co-founder at Athleads and FC Felgueiras 1932 Chief scout. He is currently International Scout for the German Club SpVgg Greuther Fürth and Partnerships Manager at Soccer HUB!

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