Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Expert-novice differences in procedural knowledge in young soccer players from local to international level

Luis Miguel García López, David Gutiérrez Díaz del Campo, Jorge Abellán Hernández, Sixto González, Louisa A. Webb



Expert and novice soccer players (N=140) from five different competition levels (inexperienced, provincial, regional, national and international levels) were examined for differences in procedural knowledge. A video-based test was developed recording four matches of the under-16 Spanish football final play-off. Ten sequences, seven offensive and three defensive, were finally selected for the video test. Analysis of variance indicated that no significant differences were found in procedural knowledge among the different competition levels but when combined, subjects belonging to the national and international level had a significantly higher rate of procedural knowledge than regional, provincial and inexperienced soccer players. Experts were less homogeneous as a group when compared to novices. No differences were found between defenders and midfielders in any category, although midfielders have to perform in more varied and tactically complex contexts than defenders.


Soccer; Expertise; Procedural knowledge; Video assessment


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