A more recent study seems to confirm previously published data. In particular, the researchers subjected a group of high-level footballers (aged between 12 and 34 years of age) to tests for selective attention, inhibition, working memory and cognitive flexibility; at the same time, they had the same athletes evaluated by their respective coaches in relation to their so-called football intelligence; in addition, the number of minutes played during the season played was recorded for each player.
The goal of all of this was to observe whether executive functions, football intelligence and the number of minutes played would be correlated (see "correlation"In our glossary).
What the researchers observed was the actual presence of significant correlations between the executive functions examined (in particular, working memory and cognitive flexibility), football intelligence and the minutes actually played during the competitive season.
In other words, as scores on tests for executive functions increased, football intelligence (estimated by the coaches) and time spent on the pitch increased.
Put another way, the higher the executive functions, the higher the probability of being chosen by one's coaches to play and of being considered as intelligent by the latter.
Research usually focuses on the association between executive functions and academic performance; this study, however, highlights how executive functions come into play in a transversal way in many life contexts, as well as sport.