“…as for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts”—Herman Melville in Moby Dick.
The desire to explore uncharted regions within a landscape is a common thread that links humans across different epochs and cultures. In life, it is this sense of exploration that leads us to travel, move to a new city, or venture off the trail during a bushwalk. Similarly, in science, it is this sense of exploration that drives the establishment of new perspectives—manifesting—for example, in the emergence of innovative ideas seen in landscape architecture , computational software , engineering , and education . In each of these examples, researchers have sought to grow ‘disciplinary’ knowledge through the development of frameworks that promote abductive and transdisciplinary thinking, which ultimately functions to instil innovative ways of doing.
Indeed, despite still being in its relative infancy, sport science is no different to these disciplines. Innovation is praised and sought after, exemplified through the establishment of Research and Development departments in high-level sports organisations, and seen through the offering of unique, international, educational forums. It is also explicitly stated within the scope of some of sport science’s highest-ranked scientific journals. However, while there appears to be a want for innovation in sport science, there is a lack of support to guide such processes, perhaps leaving researchers and practitioners bereft of knowing how to innovate or where to start. This limitation, in part, may explain why sport science has largely been confined to insular thinking and interaction [5,6,7,8]. Within research, this has been typified through reductionistic approaches to solving problems isolated within ‘sub-disciplines’ such as biomechanics and physiology [6,7,8,9,10]. While within practice, although there may be an extensive range of specialist, discipline-based sections structured into sports organisations to support athlete development and performance (e.g. strength and conditioning, high-performance, performance analysis, and coaching departments), their functioning is often driven by isolated, silo-based thinking, limiting their capacity to integrate activities to fulfil organisational objectives [11, 12].
Moreover, there is a tendency in scientific inquiry to follow previously defined procedures, where exploratory behaviour is denied. Reed  went as far as saying that scientific thought has largely abandoned firsthand human experience and that, consequently, wayfinding (i.e., the process of learning to navigate through unfamiliar ‘regions’ in a landscape of knowledge and experiences by connecting to the environment), contrasting with mechanistic Cartesian views, has become devalued on all fronts. These predominant mechanistic views foster a more reflective, mediating intellectualism, amplified by the distancing and de-contextualising effects of a great deal of modern technology (i.e., when decisions of how to proceed are indicated by software algorithms, if a ‘system is not down’). Thus, the tendency is to become a nexus of heavily processed experience, where science is produced and sold in pre-interpreted, packaged, and anonymous forms that degrade our abilities to directly encounter and experience information . It is perhaps why Balagué et al.  encouraged academic sport scientists to abandon the short-term fixation on things that could lead to insularity, such as generating publications and/or obtaining academic promotions, in replace for a more authentic integration of mystery, exploration and an embracement of the unknown.
In light of this, both in research and practice, work has called for sport to progress beyond such reductionism and embrace interdisciplinarity [6, 14,15,16], progress toward transdisciplinarity [5, 8, 11], and even establish a unified way of thinking . For example, Glazier  argued for a Grand Unified Theory of sports performance based on the constraints framework introduced by Newell . Further, Rothwell et al.  conceptualised how a Department of Methodology (DoM) could underpin applied sport science to avoid ‘system capture’ and promote greater transdisciplinarity in practice by removing siloed and insular thinking (also see ). Accordingly, sport science appears to be on the cusp of a new way of thinking, one that promotes ‘upward, outward and collaborative’ inquisition, encouraging the search for ways to navigate beyond the path dependant and traditional confines that have led to this point [7,8,9,10,11].
In an attempt to support this emerging consciousness and drive new ideas, grow knowledge and promote pragmatic transdisciplinarity in sport, this opinion piece introduces a conceptual model epistemologically situated within social and biophysical anthropology  and ecological psychology [13, 19]. Specifically, inspired by Steinert and Leifer , this opinion piece introduces a hunter-gatherer model based on wayfinding as a conceptual basis to guide innovation in sport science. Distinctions between hunting and gathering instincts are made, demonstrating the importance of both when navigating through uncharted regions of the performance landscape in the pursuit of new ways of doing. This paper encourages sport scientists to re-discover their hunter-gatherer instincts, leaving behind the normative or pre-processed ways of navigating knowledge (based on fixed, sequentially pre-planned and compartmentalised approaches that are structured to lead to ‘known’ destinations). Instead, they are urged to set out along an emergent path of innovation, navigating through new and uncharted regions, embedding, enriching and growing knowledge as they find their way.