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Giannis Zarotis | Psychology


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4.Stadiums without fans: the effect on footballers

Psychology »

The period of the pandemic due to COVID-19 has caused a lot of differences in the field of sports and the participants are called to adapt to new data. A relatively new and special condition is the absence of spectators. The stadiums remain closed, the matches are held in empty stands and the environment of the stadium looks "unusual".

How easy is it for footballers to get used to and how much can it ultimately affect the performance of teams?


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4.Stadiums without fans: the effect on footballers

Psychology »

A teams "home" stadium, in addition to the space, includes the fans of each team. Their absence in the first phase, seems to "weaken" them, removing any advantage that their presence gives. Due to the presence of the people, the footballers are encouraged and can get a push for more effort and activation. On the contrary, the "guests" experience the pressure of the presence of the people as a deterrent to their personal performance, making them sometimes passive and "affected".

Example of a special condition: fans will be silent when their own team prepares for a penalty, allowing their player to concentrate without distraction. But for the opponent, the condition will be different… ..

The reactions of the people are a positive feeling of feedback, the home team makes as much effort as possible, looking for more positive reactions. The same mechanism works for the host team, just the opposite. No matter how experienced or confident a player is, with a crowd of people shouting against him, it is easy to lose focus.


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4.Stadiums without fans: the effect on footballers

Psychology »

Our brains are trained to seek pleasure or reward and to avoid suffering and pain. Thus, even players who do not consciously let the fans bother them will be affected in some way. Their performance will decrease normally, affecting their effort levels.

The home crowd can also act as a distraction. Guests will lose focus for just a fraction of a second, that's enough… ..

On a personal level, the audience "helps" you to overcome mistakes in the fight or to stay in them, if you are the "opponent". Also, some teams or some players enjoy the role of "opponent" and find motivation in the negative atmosphere. When the spectators are absent, the extra motivating factor will be missing.


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4.Stadiums without fans: the effect on footballers

Psychology »

In summary, the spectators are for the footballers the impetus for more effort, the momentum with which they claim the victory, the self-denial that they will show by chasing the score. Maybe the last sentence justifies why in football we now see scores in games with big goal differences. The factor that will put a "brake" on the drop in performance and will show the importance of trying for some is missing …….

Dortmund-Stuttgart: 1-5; With the presence of 80 thousand spectators, it would seem impossible… ..