The Athletic Intelligence Quotient and Performance in the National Football League

James K. Bowman*, Thomas R Boone, Leonard Zaichkowsky, Scott Goldman and Alex Auerbach

The Athletic Intelligence Quotient and Performance in the National Football League.

As such, teams have attempted to determine whether young athletes would become elite stars, in part, by measuring their time on the 40-yard dash and their strength on the bench press, among other physical abilities. Although these abilities may seem important, research to date has found limited relationships between performance on physical tests and subsequent performance in the NFL.2,3 Thus in the NFL, it appears that even though some athletes possess incredible physical gifts, they are unable to perform at a level consistent with these skills in real game situations. Conversely, there are football players with weaker performance on physical tests who excel in the game.

One possible contributing factor for this disconnect is that there are important differences between the physical ability tests and actual game play. For instance, players perform all physical ability tests while wearing track outfits rather than football equipment.2 Additionally, on the 40-yard dash, players start their sprints in a track stance and run untouched for the entire distance. While
running is obviously an important part of football, NFL players perform this behavior wearing football equipment and against an opponent. Therefore, these kinds of physical tests do not fully assess the physical abilities needed on the field, leading to questions about the face validity of these tests.

A second constraint of personality assessment in competitive sports is that the constructs measured may fluctuate over time and across situations. Further, longitudinal research has shown that changes in personality tend to correlate with life satisfaction.

Sport Exerc Med Open J. 2020; 6(2): 39-50. doi: 10.17140/SEMOJ-6-180