#Research brief

A case study of a soccer team that fosters multiple outcomes

Dr Martin Kjeøen Erikstad, 16 Mar 2023


In this presentation, Dr Martin Kjeøen Erikstad reveals some of the key ingredients behind the success of Bryne FK's youth development system – a system that counts Erling Haaland among its graduates.

Dr Erikstad and his colleagues spent several years studying the success of Bryne FK's 1999 intake, which included Erling Haaland and five other players who went on to graduate to professional football. In this presentation, he reveals the secrets of the club's success and discusses how others might be able to emulate it. This presentation was based on an article entitled '"As Many as Possible for as Long as Possible" - A Case Study of a Soccer Team that Fosters Multiple Outcomes' which was published in The Sports Psychologist. The authors included Martin Erikstad, Bjørn Tore Johansen, Marius Johnsen, Tommy Haugen and Jean Côté.

Key take-aways

  • It is possible to develop world-class talents while promoting participation and personal development.

  • Avoid over-organising children's involvement in sport.

  • Find strategies to develop positive coach-athlete relationships.

Watch brief

Part 1: The context of the study
Part 2: Findings and recommendations

Read summary

Part 1: Context
In the first part of his presentation, Dr Erikstad sets out why Bryne FK's 1999 intake was chosen as the subject of the study, which was conducted by interviewing individuals with first-hand knowledge of the club's approach. As Dr Erikstad explains, the 1999 team was unusual in that it managed to combine high levels of performance with extraordinarily low drop-out rates. He also describes how the squad members developed positively as individuals, acquiring a reputation in their community for good behaviour off the pitch, strong social skills and a well-developed sense of fair play. 

Part 2: Findings and recommendations
So how did Bryne achieve this success? In the second part of the video, Dr Erikstad discusses the key features of Byrne's approach, including a training regime that emphasised enjoyment over technical skills, coaching that treated all the players equally and focused on building strong relationships, and the importance of access to top-quality facilities the players could use to develop their skills and personalities away from formal training sessions. He concludes by making three recommendations other clubs could follow in order to emulate the Byrne model, and with a reminder that it is perfectly possible to produce world-class players while prioritising their personal development. 

Paper citation and link
Erikstad, M. K, Johansen, B. T., Johansen, M., Haugen, T., Côté, J., 2021, '"As Many as Possible" - A Case Study of a Soccer Team that Fosters Multiple Outcomes', The Sport Psychologistvol. 35, no. 2, pp. 131-141.

Read the full paper here.

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