Coaching like a Pro
The movie Moneyball teaches us that teams often miss value people. Swayed by irrelevant information we often demonstrate a great deal of bias when making decisions related to our teams. As a result, the recent revolution in all professional sports is the move away from the use of ‘gut’ feel and observation to the use of more objective data or "analytics". It is an effort to get beyond personal bias and try to understand what is really happening on the court so that talent is not overlooked and abilities are maximized.
If professional coaches, with decades of experience, recognize that they might have bias how much more relevant is this to high school athletics. It is easy for us as parents or coaches to be swayed by irrelevant information. In Behavioral Economics this mental short cut is called the Availability Heuristic. It means that if something can be recalled it must be important and people tend to allow this information to more heavily weigh their judgments, making opinion biased toward that latest news. So for example, a player chases the opposition down the court and makes a fantastic block sending the ball out of bounds. The fans erupt, parents wonder why John doesn’t get more playing time and the coach calls him out at half time for being the only player making an effort out there. The one big showy event gets locked into the mind of coaches and fans alike benefiting the player. And yet basketball games are made up of 40 minutes with many examples that go without review and speak more to John’s true defensive effort.