FOSTERING THE DETECTION OFUNEXPECTED OPPORTUNITIES INSPORTS I. Introduction Detection of unexpected opportunities is vital in sports. Inattentional blindness researchindicates various situationalfactors influence detection. Different actors in a sport gamecan play a role in increasing theprobability of noticing unexpectedopportunities. II. Role of Unmarked Teammates Unmarked teammates need to beaware of their potential to beoverlooked, especially when theybecome free unexpectedly. Even if the passer looks at them,it doesn't guarantee consciousperception. Recommending the use of salientgestures (e.g., hand waving) todraw the passer's attention(Beanland & Pammer, 2010;Memmert, 2006). III. Role of Coaches Coaches can influence players'attentional focus through instructions. Clear action and tacticalinstructions may narrow players'focus and increase the chance of missing unexpected opportunities(Memmert & Furley, 2007). Coaches aiming for creativity andawareness of unexpectedchances should minimize tacticalinstructions. For children under 10, externalinstructions should be kept to aminimum due to their highersusceptibility to inattentionalblindness (Memmert & Furley,2007). IV. Role of Players Research shows that personalitytraits and individual cognitiveabilities cannot reliably predict thedetection of unexpected objectsacross different situations(Bredemeier & Simons, 2012;Kreitz et al., 2015a, 2015b). Training basic cognitive abilitiesfor this purpose is ineffective. Expectations strongly influencethe detection of additionalobjects. If objects, persons, or situationsare expected, inattentionalblindness is less likely to occur(Downing et al., 2004; Kreitz etal., 2015a, 2015b). Players should always be awarethat unexpected situations andopportunities can arise alongsidecommon and well-practicedscenarios during a game.
Broadening attention to anticipateunexpected chances canenhance awareness. V. Conclusion Detecting unexpected opportunities is crucial forsuccess in sports. Unmarked teammates can usesalient gestures to draw attention. Coaches should balance instructions to avoid narrowingplayers' focus excessively. Players should cultivate a mindsetof anticipating unexpectedopportunities to broaden theirattention and improve awareness.