Spectators and performance

I enjoy watching competitions, cheering on athletes as they put their all into a contest. I often wonder, though, what effects this cheering has on an athlete’s performance. When I played basketball, I used to get a bit more nervous but also a bit more focused on my game when I heard the crowd whistling and clapping. I didn’t feel much of an audience effect, though, when I played to the quiet spectators in a piano recital. As with most human attributes, there is likely a lot of variation in the effect cheering on athletic performance. What is your experience?

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2 Responses to Spectators and performance

  1. cwolfing cwolfing says:

    I find that the more fans and cheering and yelling the better the atmosphere is and the better I perform. In high school, almost our entire school would show up at our basketball games to cheer us on. Although sometimes it is hard to hear, when you know fans are cheering you on then it just makes it so much better. At the away games when only our parents and few really dedicated students would show up it was never as fun as the home games with all our fans. At the state tournament in February, our fans were notorious for bring loud and rowdy and we loved it.

  2. Gabrielle Donahue bballqueen says:

    I have often found that spectator noise and cheering gets me more excited and focused on the game I’m playing. Before the game I always look around and the more fans there are the more nervous I seem to feel, but as soon as the whistle blows and the game starts I seem to block out all noise into one muffled tone. In fact, friends of mine often ask after a game, “Did you hear me screaming your name?” and they are so shocked when I say that I did not. I seem to take the energy from the fans and translate it to some form of adrenaline, yet every game I still feel that same degree of anxiety when I hear people cheering before the game starts.

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