Sport economics is usually taken to mean the application of economic methods to sport. Economics can help us think about sport. In a similar fashion, sport can help us think about economics. Few point out this as explicitly as the economist Ignacio Palacios-Huerta (who has also acted as the Head of Talent Identification at Athletic Bilboa). The sub-title of his 2014 book is "How soccer can help economics".
By way of criticism of economic theory, Kate Raworth says that "Economic theory curiously begins with the over-18s". It is a pity that she did not delve the role of family members and friends in the painting of a person's self-portrait. Friends and family play a large role in determining the person that arrives at the age of 18. Protection, help, and resources have been provided. Values have been inculcated. There is a large sociology of sport literature that shows that family influences are important for shaping the identities of those involved in sport. For example, Richard Giulianotti provides a taxonomy of spectator identities in soccer (or World Football as he calls it). Giulianotti distinguishes four groups: Supporters, Followers, Fans, and Flaneurs. The four groups are defined on two dimensions: (i) hot-cool and (ii) traditional-consumer. "The hot-cool vertical axis reflects the different degrees to which the club is central to the individual's project of self-formation". About the other dimension, Giulianotti says "the consumer has no brand loyalty but is instead a sporting variant of economic man". The origin and evolution of identities, preferences, and tastes gets greater attention outside of economics.
There is also a literature the links nature and nurture in the sporting context. A good summary can be found in The Winner Effect. In the book, Ian Robertson draws on the neuroscience literature to show that changes in brain structure occur due to winning. He argues that this has been known to generations of boxing trainers who select progressively more difficult bouts for their fighters in an effort to build their confidence. This literature is not a million miles away from economics. An important piece of literature cited comes from the Journal of Health Economics and it suggests that Academy Award (Oscar) winner live longer. Maybe the non-economics literature on the links between nature and nurture will get a greater hearing in economics in the future.
Doughnut Economics raises an interesting issue for economics about the potential to "nurture human nature" but it could do more by way explaining how this might happen.