Study: Transition From Sports To Acting Easiest For Soccer Players

From Backstage

NEW YORK — A new study from The Actor’s Studio shows that the transition from sports to acting is most readily accomplished by soccer players. The study examined the careers of dozens of professional athletes from around the world, concluding that the skills developed by playing soccer parallel the skills developed by actors, giving soccer players a leg up.


“Soccer players practice corner kicks, dribbling, and heading the ball from an early age,” says Dr. Lee Strasberg, one of the study’s authors. “However, it’s their constant, cowardly diving that makes their skill set compatible with acting. Diving isn’t just about getting an unfair advantage by convincing a referee to call a foul on an innocent player, it’s about the craft of simulating pain, and taking a convincing pratfall.”

“Baseball players are relentlessly made fun of for taking a dive,” said study co-author Joshua Morgenstern. “Just look at when Derek Jeter pretended to be hit by a pitch. He admitted that the ball hit the base of his bat, not his hand, but he took the dive anyway. He got razzed for at least a week for it. In soccer, players dive all the time, and it’s just considered part of the game.”


Soccer players who have successfully made the transition from athlete to actor include David Beckham, Vinnie Jones, Pele, Stan Collymore, Ian Wright, Paul Breitner, Carlo Ancelotti, Ally McCoist, Eric Cantona, and Matt Smith.


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Study: Transition From Sports To Acting Easiest For Soccer Players was originally published in Laces Out on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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