For years tennis and golf have talked about the mental game: how athletes can avoid missing shots or "the yips." There have been baseball players like ex-catcher Mackey Sasser who suddenly couldn't throw the ball back to the mound, or Rick Ankiel, who as a pitcher couldn't find the plate but resurrected his career as an outfielder.
Now according to a new story by Bloomberg News, the world of predictive analytics—"Money Ball," as you will—can now take on new meaning during head games as well, and can play an even bigger factor in determining winners and losers before they make mistakes on the court.
The story by Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams talks about not just finding faults, but improving mental acuity through games of chance, skill and other exercises that can make top athletes think and focus more clearly without the use of drugs. While some teams have used "mental coaches" as ways to improve performance enhancement for years, the combination of coaching and data can open up a whole new frontier for years to come as teams find new ways to protect, and predict, outcomes.