Kunashni Parikh

Clinical and Sport Psychologist


Closed Door Matches – Will Empty Stadiums affect Athlete Performance?

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How will Athletes perform without their fans physical presence?

Given the current pandemic situation, there are social distancing protocols in place to keep us safe from the rapidly spreading Corona Virus that has plagued the year of 2020. This means that that while most tournaments have been cancelled, a few of our fan-cherished tournaments like the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Cricket and the Indian Super League (ISL) in Football will be played behind closed doors as fan crowds will not be allowed inside the viewing arena of the stadiums.

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How does Crowd Presence usually affect Sports Players?

While some athletes are fired up because of their fans, others might get quite distracted. This depends on the athlete’s ability to regulate their arousal. Novice and young players might feel anxious and nervous with a large crowd presence which might affect their performance due to wavering confidence and concentration. Experienced and older players might be more able to handle the pressure of crowd because they are adapted to their constant presence throughout their career. Depending on the athlete’s experience, skills, personality, and mental training, they can either be excited and motivated due to crowd presence or they can be nervous and demotivated. They could also be unaffected and completely neutral to the presence or absence of the crowds!

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Heading into the Empty Stadiums

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Now going into the empty stadium with no crazy and loud crowds to alter your level of arousal, how will athletes performance change? This depends on the athlete’s preference. Some who rely on the fan support to pump themselves up might feel less motivated or excited. On the other hand, a huge distraction factor will be removed, so athletes who often lose focus due to overwhelming crowds may see an increase in their focus during their game.

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Let's wait and see how our athletes will perform behind closed door matches!


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