Scan Frequency


25 Points

Great visual perception is an unsung trait of creative players. Studies have proven that an increase in player Scan Frequency is correlated to improved passing performance.

The best creative midfielders–the position proved to require the most scanning–are often called midfield maestros, their baton, their head on a swivel. Read about Scan Assembly/Orchestration in the Awareness/Intuition section of The Theoretical Model of Soccer IQ below.

Think of Scan Timing and Scan Direction as the scales. The more the player practices this habit of surveying their surroundings at the right moment in the right way, the more they will be in harmony with the game.


5 points each

Scan Assembly

(Forward) Sagittal Scan Frequency

(Sideways) Lateral Scan Frequency

(Before) Pre-reception Scan

(After) Post-distribution Scan



How does Scan Frequency fit into the Avila Soccer IQ model?


Small-sided scrimmages force players to develop their Scan Frequency. This should really be the first step in any player’s development. This is what happens in nature when there is no adult intervention. Kids first play soccer and then they start to seek out solutions in the form of skills. The order matters.


For many, SKILL development is the obvious first step in the development cycle for many players. But, it needs to be secondary to playing small-sided games first. Because many moves are born from situations in the game itself. As a player develops their visual perception and recognizes certain affordances that the game is giving them–they learn which skills to use and when. Without context, skills development is useless.


AWARENESS is the prerequisite to Intuition. Also known as Scan Assembly and is a crucial milestone where it’s now evident the player is able to engage in basic memory-segmented scanning. In other words, they see:

the image they are viewing live

the image they scanned a moment earlier

And can combine these two things nearly simultaneously to make plays others may not have thought possible.


Developing one’s INTUITION is the key to becoming an impact player. It’s when the player now has the experience to engage in Scan Orchestration. Which is the next level above Scan Assembly. Cognitively,  now the player is capable of Advanced Memory Segmented Scanning. Meaning they routinely combine three images simultaneously to make a great play:

the image they are viewing live

the image they scanned a moment earlier and are keeping fresh in their mind

memories of past situations like the one they are in now


To truly have a sense of PREDICTIVE MOMENTUM, the player’s intuition must extend from not just the pass sequence but throughout the entire play sequence. From when your teammate passes you the ball, you receive it, you pass it somewhere else, and you move somewhere else. It’s not just about being an expert at what to do when they receive the ball but about where to run to next to be the most efficient.


The ultimate goal is to have a high SOCCER IQ. Some people call this decision-making. It’s the tactical decisions you make. For example, how well you are engaging your teammates, adjusting your pacing of the pass, the spacing of your body, the position of your hips, and disguising your intention.