n Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa - Editorial

Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1010-2728



The euphoria of the 2010 Soccer World Cup is now over and what a world cup it was. South Africa proved the world wrong and did itself proud - congratulations to the organizing committee and all the South Africans who made our international visitors feel so welcome. Why, you may ask, am I bringing the Soccer World Cup into an ergonomics journal? Well firstly, because I am a proud South African and this is a South African journal, but secondly, because many ergonomists steer clear of sports research considering it the realm of the sports scientist. However, there are important links between the science of sport and the science of work. The most important being that sport for many is their work. I would like to highlight one soccer-specific example from a recent paper in the Journal of Sports Sciences (Reilly, 2005). Very briefly, according to this article, as soccer is a team game, a priority in preparing players for match-play must be to harness their individual capabilities so that the group becomes an effective competitive unit. The paper highlights many individual and team factors that need to be considered (Figure 1). The model suggests that coaches (managers/engineers) need to consider interfacing the demands of the game (tasks) with the capabilities of the players (the workers). Thus, when preparing for competition (work), technical, tactical and physiological requirements must be integrated in a holistic manner.

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