Als 2. Ausgabe im Jahr 2023 der Editors' Selection der „German Journal of Exercise and Sport Research“ wurde der Beitrag „Decision-making performance and self-generated knowledge in handball-defense patterns: a case of representational redescription“ von Lukas Magnaguagno, Ernst-Joachim Hossner, Jürg Schmid & Stephan Zahno ausgewählt. Der Beitrag ist dauerhaft Open Access verfügbar.
In sport games, perceptual–cognitive skills are discussed as a decisive aspect of players’ expertise. However, an understanding of the relationship between these skills and actual game performance is limited, particularly, regarding the role of pattern identification and situational-probability estimation in performance. The present study thus aimed to examine how identification of teammates’ defensive qualities relates to decision-making performance in a 3:3 virtual-reality defensive task. Examining data collected in two previously published studies, we analyzed the relationship between explicit pattern detection and response correctness, and also as a function of players’ experience. Experience was operationalized as either expertise level (Experiment 1) or task-specific experience (Experiment 2). As expected, the explicit detection of a game-specific pattern was found to be facilitated by experience. However, the results imply that it is accumulated experience that enhances decision-making performance rather than the degree of self-generated explicit knowledge. This finding supports the notion of “representational redescription” as introduced by Karmiloff-Smith (1994). For sports practice, this suggests that the pattern identification demonstrated by skilled athletes should not be overestimated as a predictor of game performance, while the explicit provision of knowledge might be beneficial for less-skilled athletes, particularly in situations of high uncertainty.