As the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference winds down, an article written by The Atlantic‘s Dashiell Bennet asks an important question: why do people still not believe the best new ideas in sports? This is a not a new question. In fact, it’s an age-old question of those (few) scholars interested in the social psychology of sports. The real question that this all boils down to, however, is actually more like, “why do people place higher value in their subjective experiences in sport than they do in empirical data?”
This question has all sorts of interesting implications for sports organizations. Moneyball was just the tip of the iceberg, and player scouting and development is just one area impacted by shifting from valuing experience over analysis. For instance, how does this mentality impact the behavior of fans? We can translate the science that will allow you to understand the psychological biases and fallacies currently holding your organization back as those around you innovate. Change is coming. The sooner you position your organization to take advantage of the latest developments, the sooner you gain a step on the competition.