Unlock your team's potential

It's all about playing to your strengths, according to ex-pro footballer and performance specialist Rasmus Ankersen

Is it better to have a match-winning right foot like David Beckham? Or two solid, but unspectacular feet? What's more effective? What will win your teams more games?

Experts are constantly telling us to work on our weaknesses, but in reality is this a waste of time? Would it be a more constructive use of our time to make our strengths great? Is making a weakness less of a weakness going to make the difference between three points or none?

More after the break

What's the best way to get the best out of ability? We all want to discover our unique talents and make an impact with them. But how? 

Rasmus Ankersen, a 26 year old ex-professional footballer and performance specialist, quit his job, spent his last pennies booking flight tickets and for six intense months travelled the world and literally trained and lived with the world's best athletes and their coaches in an attempt to answer this very question.

To find out what he found watch this video.

Rasmus Ankersen was talking at the Science + Football Conference. For more information visit www.scienceandfootball.com.

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"I think the main thing is to get people to use their strengths. A big research company in the U.S. did a study where they interviewed more than two millions employees worldwide to check the most significant indicators of high performance on the job.

They came up with 12 factors, including: 'I know what is expected of me', 'I have a best friend at work' and more. But there is one factor that significantly outperforms the rest - if people think they use their strengths in the job most of the time.

But when they looked at how many people felt they actually used their strengths it was only 17 per cent. So there's a lot of potential in making sure people actually use what they do best.

I don't think that is different in football. As a coach you want to build a team based on people's strengths and not their weaknesses.

If you're talking about young players you have time to work on their weaknesses. But if you have to perform on a Saturday you don't have time for that. If you work on your weaknesses too much you end up getting strong weaknesses.

I think every player should have a signature. So as a player you should either be very red, very green, and if you start working on your weaknesses too much you become very grey. Then it's interesting to mix this guy with another guy who is very blue, or very red, and building a high-performance team like that." 

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