Most frequently asked questions

About the Neurolympics assessment games

From what age can the games be used?

The games can be used from the age of 10. However, the brain is still in full development. This means that low or average scores can not be considered as exclusion criteria. On the other hand, youth players who score high from an early age show the potential to become a professional early on. After the age of 15, the development of the brain becomes more stable and the brain score, in addition to other academy acceptance criteria, can also be used as rejection criteria. Again, keep in mind that other factors are also important to consider this data in selection decisions.

Does the test always consist of the same 4 games?

Yes, you always play the same 4 games (both in sports & business). We always want to measure the various brain components and their interdependence. However, the trials per game always differ and never appear in the same order. Besides it is adapted (stair-cased), too.

Do you correct for age differences?

As a youth player you are matched with the elite football brain profile (Champions League-level). This match is compared with the match of all other players within the same six-month age category (e.g., 12 to 12.5 years; 12.5 to 13 years). Based on a ranking within the age category, the final match score is determined with the football brain. For example, a 16.2 year old player with a soccer brain score of 95 is in the top 5% of best matching players in the 16 to 16.5 age group of our database.

Are you better at these games if you play a lot?

The effects of frequent gaming are minimal and do not affect the final scores. Read more on this here.


What value do the results of BrainsFirst have, in addition to other talent factors?

BrainsFirst offers crucial data and at the same time, this is just one piece of the talent puzzle. Factors such as physique, mindset, persistence, tactics and training hours are also very important. For example, if a player has promising brain potential, but no experience and no perseverance, he / she is very unlikely to become an elite player.

Are there any examples of players who scored low but reached a high level?

This is of course possible. Football intelligence is not the holy grail. It’s just one piece of the talent puzzle. For example, if a player is extremely strong and fast, he will likely compensate for brain skills such as speed of action and information overview. However, it is unlikely that he will make it to the highest level (Champions League) due to the extremely fast game rhythm. He may be ‘good enough’ to perform at a national level.

What is this elite football brain model?

The score on the elite football brain index is based on a data science model that is supported by 6 years of research. It is literally the brain configuration that an elite player must have in order to play at the highest level (Champions League). This model is built with the game results of more than 1000 players from different divisions. The score represents a weighted multifactor score.


Can we – as a club or association – use BrainsFirst for talent development?

Primarily a talent identification tool, BrainsFirst helps you determine if your players have the brain potential to become a pro. We help you to invest in the (potentially) best players.

Can you improve brain skills by brain training?

Previous research has shown that the effect of cognitive training is minimal. You can probably change a 6 to a 7, but never to an 8 or higher. Our games have a high test-retest reliability, which means that you cannot significantly improve your scores by playing the games more often. We are here to identify the future brain potential of youth players to become a top player. If you want to improve your players on the field, let them play football as much and as challenging as possible! Example in sports: for a good-but-not-elite sprinter it is possible to reduce the time on the 100 meter sprint from 16.8 to 12.2 seconds for example by training a lot. However, this athlete will be limited by the biological limitations of his body (e.g .muscles, metabolism, maximal oxygen uptake). The brain is no exception here, you can only achieve the maximum within the biological building blocks that the brain naturally has.

Isn’t the brain always in development?

One of the most common mistakes made with the brain today is that people say, “The brain is evolving all your life, so you can become an expert in anything related to the brain.” Abilities that originate in the brain cannot develop indefinitely and are all limited by their own biological ceiling. The biological building blocks that you have inherited naturally determine what your potential is. Read more about it here

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