With fans returning to the stands at Gonzaga University games, there are a lot of things that should get Zag fans excited.
The first of these benefits is the escape from live sports. A qualitative fan study, published by Global Health Research and Policy, showed that in 2018, fans who attended English football team games served as a temporary escape from everyday life and helped reduce stress .
The same study showed that during Japanese professional soccer matches, spectators had a psychological bond with their hometown team, which led to a greater connection between the athletes and the community. It also supported their perceptions of social support as well as social cohesion in their communities.
These types of collective evidence suggest that participating in live sporting events may also produce psychosocial benefits. These benefits can, in turn, help produce healthy practices while reducing the negative health consequences of stress and adversity.
“I think the best part is just being back and seeing everyone,” said Eduardo Escalera, senior at GU. “It feels good to be in a social environment again. “
Research has shown that playing activity can have beneficial effects on physical health. Daniel L. Wann, professor of psychology at Murray State University in Kentucky and author of “Sports Fans: The Psychology and Social Impact of Spectators,” found this to be the case in his research.
“Indeed, the stereotype that sports fans are overweight and drink beer on the couch is incorrect,” Wann said in an interview with CNN. “Sports fans are quite active physically, politically and socially. ”
Live sporting events are also a great place to start networking or to get a coworker to have a good time. It allows friends to have a great time not only with sports, but also with food, drink and entertainment in one place.
Finally, watching sports can improve communication and organizational skills. According to a 2008 study from the University of Chicago, scientists and researchers found that watching a sporting event is training for your brain.
In the study, a dozen professional and college hockey players, eight hockey fans, and nine people who had never seen or played a sport were instructed to watch a hockey game while an EEG recorded their brain functions. .
Afterwards, the participants each underwent a test to analyze their brain comprehension. The results showed that athletes and sports enthusiasts experienced brain activity in motor areas associated with performance and control. This study suggests that spectator sports can help with information absorption.
For the athletes, there are many benefits for the fans to come back to the stands. Friendly discussions and jokes between players and fans have become a tradition in college and professional sports. The idea of a team having ‘home advantage’ due to its loud and rowdy supporters can affect the team’s communication away on the pitch or on the pitch.
Athletes can be motivated by excitement and audience participation and will therefore perform with heightened awareness.
“I know that last year was difficult for some teams because there were no fans so the athletes couldn’t feed their energy at home,” said Max Koi-Ya, student in second year of GU. “I think the fans bring a lot of energy and excitement and that helps their teams win.”
Daniel Fortin is editor-in-chief.