Recently I read a great blog post about the “hot hand” phenomenon by a group called Axon Potential. It is a great blog for all aspiring coaches because it helps you learn about the development of skill and motor learning regardless of what sport you work with. This is an area of interest to me because my girlfriend is completing her PhD in this area, and has helped me understand a lot about not just what to teach our athlete’s at FITS, but how to teach it, for more information click here
Back the issue at hand, the article I read talks about how some shooters in basketball are considered “streaky”, or when a player is hot he will keep making shots, either from the foul line or in open play.
Despite these long held beliefs within the game, the researchers “found no evidence for hot streaks beyond the random chance that a player with a give shooting percentage will sometimes hit multiple shots in a row.” They also found that players considered “streaky” aren’t actually as streaky as they seem.
Another interesting and influential factor in this field of skill acquisition that I have learned since spending more time in these circles, are that humans are terrible at detecting randomness, meaning we love to try and find a pattern, when none actually exist.
Perhaps the most interesting thing the research has found according the the article, is that confidence DOES play a role in successful performance. More confident free throw shooters have been shown to be more successful than anxious shooters.
Knowing these last 2 points, I began to think about whether the “hot hand” could be coached?
Every athlete will tell you they go out on the field […]