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Does Personality Affect Performance on the Pitch?

Posted April. 17, 2009 08:10,   


A Korean national soccer goalie from the 1970s says, “Goalkeepers with Type O blood show good performance.”

Byon Ho-young says all of Korea’s best goalkeepers including him have Type O blood. Certainly goalies such as the late Hong Duk-young, Ham Hung-chul, Lee Se-yon and Oh In-bok had Type O blood.

That does not hold true for more recent goalies on the team. Lee Woon-jae (Suwon Samsung) and Kim Byung-ji (Gyeongnam FC) are Type B. Promising talents Jeong Seong-yong (Seongnam Ilhwa), Kim Yeong-gwang (Ulsan Hyundai) and Kim Yong-dae (Gwangju Sangmu) are Type A. That shows blood type has no correlation to keeper performance.

A player’s position is related with his or her personality, however. The head of the refereeing department for the Korea Football Association Jang Yeon-hwan, who wrote a dissertation at Hoseo University, said, “Goalkeepers and defenders are introspective and passive.”

This means a defender’s role affects his or her personality. National under-20 coach Hong Myung-bo boasted an impregnable defense as a defender but is an extremely introspective person. He also does not easily get along with others.

The coach of the Korean pro team Daejeon Citizen Kim Ho and former Ulsan Horangi boss Kim Jeong-nam are also introspective. Byon, who lives in Hong Kong, is also considered a quiet person.

On the other hand, strikers are more likely to be active and outgoing since they must shoot the ball aggressively. Lee Chun-soo (Jeonnam Dragons) likes to impress people. His personality sometimes results in accidents but most seem to love his outgoing personality.

Midfielders have a good personality since their position is midway between strikers and defenders. National soccer coach Huh Jung-moo is a prime example.

Huh is well-known for his congeniality, having many friends and earning the respect of younger players. He is also good at dealing with disputes.

His wife Choi Mi-na said, “Since my husband easily believes others, he has wasted big money.”

Korea`s top soccer player Park Ji-sung (Manchester United) plays up front but is introspective and quiet. Some say his calmness has helped him succeed in the English Premier League while others say the trait has prevented him from scoring and urge him to be more aggressive.