Geplaatst: 16 May, 2023

BrainsFirst is the brain behind the youth academies of clubs like AZ, PSV, and Feyenoord.

Since that youth academy, football players at AZ are not only tested for fitness and strength. The players’ brains are also monitored. Starting from Under 12, players have to play simple computer games to examine their cognitive skills. The club collaborates with the company BrainsFirst, just like PSV and Feyenoord, among others, for this purpose.


AZ Alkmaar use BrainsFirst test to identify best young talent and it has helped them win UEFA Youth League

AZ Alkmaar have one of Europe’s most innovative and successful academies. Following their UEFA Youth League triumph, Adam Bate speaks to Eric Castien of BrainsFirst to find out more about the role that neuroscience is playing in the club’s recruitment.


Computer joins the ballgame: soccer increasingly approached scientifically through the use of data.

The use of data has taken off in football clubs like Ajax and AZ, but what does that mean in practice? What kind of data are we talking about? And how and where are measurement results used?

Geplaatst: 6 Apr, 2023

Young_Coders: We look for candidates by asking “what are you an 8 or 9 in?”

Dat in beeld brengen van de vaardigheden van kandidaten doet Young_Coders met de NeurOlympics-games van BrainsFirst; 4 bias free spellen, die in een paar minuten allerlei verschillende breinfuncties meten. Een uitkomst, aldus Farah, ook omdat de doelgroep dit over het algemeen een heel leuke manier van selecteren vindt. ‘Het is een prettige manier om kerncompetenties in kaart te brengen. De meeste guys en girls die dit doen houden echt van gamen. Deze testen zijn gewoon heel leuk voor ze, omdat ze dit van nature doen. Maar ook als ze niet gamen werkt is de candidate experience trouwens goed.’


Record amount of support personel found and hired with gamification

With BrainsFirst, we’ve been able to reduce the obstacles to reach the function. No more need for a motivation letter or CV. This means we’ve found that talent that would never have been reached in the classic scenario.

Geplaatst: 22 Mar, 2023

What Makes An Elite Soccer Player’s Brain Different From The Rest Of Us

Even if you have the physique, the ball control skills and the strength and speed of a professional soccer player, if your brain isn’t also on that level, you won’t make it as a pro.

AZ know this. Their scouting network tests potential youth players for their cognitive ability through tests run by Dutch company BrainsFirst. This allows them to select “technically, tactically, physically and mentally outstanding talents,” who also have the cognitive ability to play elite soccer.

Geplaatst: 16 Mar, 2023

AZ ‘kids’ run rings around Real Madrid: ‘We do things differently from Ajax’

AZ is continuously trying to learn from other organisations. “And not only from Real Madrid, but also from Go Ahead Eagles, for example. We look at other sports and successful companies as well.”

“For example, we work with Brainsfirst. Before kids come in, we want to see what the brain looks like. This company also does the assessments before air traffic controllers are hired,” Paul Brandenburg, head of the academy, says.

Geplaatst: 14 Feb, 2023

About the ‘Zero talent waste’ mission with which BrainsFirst wants to structurally unclog the labor market

‘Why do we keep cramming squares into round holes in the labor market?’ Eric Castien wonders. ‘Too much talent is being lost as a result.’ But how can things be better, according to the founder of BrainsFirst?

Geplaatst: 7 Nov, 2022

How to understand your brain. With Eric Castien.

For 10 years, Eric Castien has been focusing on the minds of our society. According to Eric, when it comes to what people can achieve, not enough consideration is given to brain functions, such as pattern recognition, information processing speed, and attention span.