Basketball players permit one failed or successful field goal attempt to affect their next attempt reports a paper published in Nature Communications this week. These findings suggest that even after years of training, players over generalise from their most recent actions. Tal Neiman and Yonatan Lowenstein used data from the USA National Basketball Association, and Women’s basketball Association websites to record failed and made field goal attempts. They recorded data from two regular seasons and analysed a total of 332 players. They found that the outcome of a single attempt affected the behaviour of both male and female basketball players. Their findings suggest that players learn during the game but this does not necessarily improve their performance. Thus, despite years of training professional basketball players over generalize their most recent performance.
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