Decision making in sport
What’s the most important skill in sport?
If someone asked me what’s most important in porfessional sport, I would answer – efective decision making.
Even the fastest reaction, without good decision means nothing.
Decision making is a base of master performance in every sport. You can have perfect technique or be very strong but without good decisions, all other skills lose significance.
What’s an effective decision?
Effective decision is a full optimalization of two components: fast reaction and good execution. Young players tend to go into extremes. They make very fast but bad decisions or spend lot of time on finding a good choice. The key to success is to hold balance. Thanks to dedicated exercises we are able to teach our brain how to optimize process of decision making.
How to train decision making?
We should start with understanding the whole complicated process. Decision making requires from athletes 4 basic skills:
- wide attention – thanks to which we can observe whole field to find important objects, e.g. players setting,
- narrow attention – thanks to which we can focus on one important object, e.g. ball,
- anticipation – ability to predict outcome of someones behaviour, usually by observing players movement.
- memory – a base which holds the most important information.
A complex training of those four skills will give us a huge advantage over opponents. Let’s keep in mind that this kind of exercises should be done regularly as a complement of basic sport training.
Ability of players to see opportunities and use them is often called „field inteligence”. It’s not magic. It’s an example of athletes who more frequently than others focus in their training on process of making good decisions.