Does decision making transfer across similar and dissimilar sports?


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Abstract

ObjectivesThe ability to make decisions under time pressure is crucial to performance in sport. However, there remains a paucity of research that examines whether the skills underpinning decision-making transfer across similar or dissimilar sports. We examine whether decision making transfers from soccer to other sports that may be deemed to be either similar (basketball) or dissimilar (tennis) based on sports taxonomy.MethodsSkilled soccer players (N = 20) completed a video-based temporal occlusion test designed to measure decision-making involving offensive sequences of play from soccer, basketball, and tennis. Participants were required to decide on an appropriate action to execute for each situation presented.ResultsResponse accuracy was higher in the soccer decision-making task compared to the basketball and tennis tasks. Furthermore, accuracy scores were higher on the basketball compared to the tennis task.ConclusionsThere appears to be some positive transfer of decision-making between sports that share similar elements, supporting the importance both of specificity and generality in expert performance.HighlightsThere is some positive transfer of decision-making performance between sports that share similar elements.Players’ showed greater decision-making accuracy for their primary sport than for any other sport.Findings support the importance both of specificity and generality in expert decision-making performance.

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