Back in 2017, prior to my amazing partnership with Michel Poldervaart and the establishment of TIFA Football School, I performed scouting work as I had the privilege to learn from Ajax Amsterdam. During that time, I learned to notice the difference between talent and top talent. The main difference: WOW moments! On average, a talented player has 3-5 strong and weak points during a regular-season game. A top or super talent has 5-8 strong points, less than 3 weak points, and 3-5 WOW moments.
So what’s an “WOW” moment? This has to do with the ability of a player to perform the following during a TOP match (i.e., a game against Ajax, PSV, or other top international clubs):
- Lead. In all he does Noah is a leader, verbally, non-verbally, and, most important, by example. Add all these qualities to his positivity, and you’ll be lucky to have him on your team.
- Decisive. As all great (pro) players are decisive during top games, so is Noah, already at this age! He is a winner and goes above and beyond to achieve.
- Amusement. Whether it’s the “rushes” he executes while passing 2-4 opponents, his explosive cuts and feints, or his ability to assist or score, Noah keeps on surprising friends and foes every single match.
- Multi-skilled. Whether defending, attacking, or transiting, it makes no difference to Noah, who excels at everything. This makes him even more exceptional.
Now, the most significant aptitude he possesses is the ability to achieve 3-5 WAUW moments every match. At his age (9), this is not only exceptional but rare.
Apart from his given aptitude, Noah is backed by a strong and stable household with parents who had an athletic background, of which one was at the top. Their main purpose is to support and motivate Noah to adapt to the top athlete’s routine. Aside from that, they strive to provide all of the tools required to become a great person!
Paradox of skill
At TIFA Sports, we are constantly asked (formally and informally) about Noah’s situation. The same happens to his parents. His name has now been recognized as a top talent by top international clubs. Head scouts and youth academy managers tell us they have over 14 positive reports on him, claiming he is a unique player. Noah, on the other hand, has decided to stay at Feyenoord. Why? For starters, he comes from a devoted family that believes in cultivating long-lasting relationships. Second, Feyenoord Academy, and especially the youth (substructure) manager, does an amazing job of keeping this talent within! They understand the grandness of his talent, and they understand him. Hence, there’s a great relationship. This can be called the “paradox of skill,” as the phenomenon that luck is more important than quality has a name: the paradox of skill.
In conclusion, I can’t wait to see what Noah does this year and in the future, as I believe it to be great, and who knows, it could be the start of a new era for Dutch football!