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Cadernos de Pós-Graduação em Distúrbios do Desenvolvimento

Print version ISSN 1519-0307On-line version ISSN 1809-4139


PAIANO, Ronê et al. Soccer and executive functions: a review study. Cad. Pós-Grad. Distúrb. Desenvolv. [online]. 2019, vol.19, n.1, pp.81-97. ISSN 1519-0307.

The practice of soccer, besides being a form of leisure activity, socialization, competition and improvement of physical fitness, may also be associated with cognitive benefits, because an environment rich in challenges, such as team sports, can contribute to stimulating executive functions (EF).The objective of this article meant to do a review study on correlations between soccer practice and EF in children and adolescents. We searched the PubMed and SciELO database with the English equivalents of soccer terms associated with "executive functions", or "cognitive functions" or working memory, or inhibitory control, or cognitive flexibility until February 2019, which resulted in 112 reports. After the exclusion criteria, nine articles got analyzed. The most evaluated component in the articles remained the working memory followed by attention, inhibitory control, fluency, and cognitive flexibility. Five sets of research associated EF with soccer practice. In two studies it was observed that the adolescent athletes who trained soccer in professional clubs presented better results in the tests of EF than the adolescents that trained in amateur clubs. The analysis of the articles of this review study revealed that the practice of sports activities, in the case of soccer, can bring benefits to the EF and the attentional abilities in children and teenagers. However, more research demands to be done to understand the magnitude of the adaptations due to the level of complexity and energy demand of the proposed sports activities.

Keywords : Sport; Cognitive function; Children; Inhibition; Soccer.

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