Teaching and research
Professor Geert Savelsbergh, also known as the 'football professor’ on account of his research into penalty-taking in football, studied Human Movement Sciences at VU Amsterdam and obtained his PhD from the same university. He focuses mainly on the role of visual information in the control and regulation of movement. His research group – Perceptual-motor control: development, learning and performance – is part of MOVE, the internationally oriented interdisciplinary research institute.
The research being carried out by Geert Savelsbergh in the Desmond Tutu Programme will look primarily at the decision-making skills of young footballers. Successful moves in the game require a high degree of both motoric and observation-based skills and an effective combination of the two. Research will be carried out on a group of young and talented, but inexperienced South African footballers. One project will look at individuals, the other at groups. The aim of the research programme is to improve the detection and training of talent.
In his lecture, called "Playing between the lines", Prof. Savelsbergh argued that an analysis of observatory skills can contribute to the identification and development of talent in sports. A soccer player who plays between the lines is always available to receive the ball and can become the linking factor within a team. Prof. Savelsbergh and his team are interested in the skills underlying the game insight of these players.