Figure 1 Watching sports is supposed to be enjoyable
It is all very well for non-sports fans to say things like “it’s only a game” and “don’t get too worked up about it”. But any diehard sports fan will know that calming words might not cut it when your team has lost a particularly big game. Sports fans also know that it is not in their interests to get too stressed. But dealing with sports-related stress is not that straightforward.
You can find plenty of tips online for sports athletes for dealing with anxiety or stress before games. But for fans, it seems as though they are expected to deal with it as all part of the game. We all have to deal with the downs as well as the ups, after all, right?
Fans have always found ways to cope with the drama of following their favorite teams. Whether it is superstitious rituals, calming music, or checking out the sites at Sportsbettingsites.com. We say that you should do anything that brings the pressure down for you. But here are a few ideas if your team is making you particularly stressful this season.
Focus on the Small Things
Many of the stress-busting techniques for sports fans will come as advice that is difficult to take. We invest a lot of time and energy into following our favorite teams, and there is no doubt that we sometimes take that fandom too far. But if you feel you need to dial it down a little, you will need to rethink the way you watch the game.
One of the things you can do to make your sports watching a calmer experience is to focus on the more enjoyable parts of the game. Defeat is part of any fan experience, but we can focus on the smaller moments of skill that excite and please us. Think about the moments that give you joy.
Deep Breathing Techniques
This is a classic tip for anyone experiencing stress about anything at all – including sports. In fact, sports athletes are well known to come up with their own deep breathing techniques to overcome their own stress during games. If it can work for your sports heroes, it can definitely work for you!
By starting deep breathing techniques, you will slow down everything around you and help you concentrate more clearly. In turn, that allows your brain to think more clearly and allow you to deal with what is going in logically. Just take time to deep breath if things get too much for you.
Make Fun of It All
Sports fans are well known for a dark sense of humor that comes from watching teams struggle to achieve a winning season year after year. You could get really stressed about your team’s inability to do what it is being paid to do – win a game. But why not lean into the absurdity of it all instead?
By joking about how terrible your team is doing, you may be able to deal with the losses in a better manner. If you are constantly thinking up new jokes about just how bad your QB is, another defeat might not seem too bad. This doesn’t have to reach the level of denial, but some light-hearted banter could be just what you need.
Remember, You Can’t Control Anything
Fans want to feel like their role in the game day experience is important. From what clothes they routinely wear to the stadium, to the chanting and shouting of encouragement from the stands, we like to feel as though we are having an impact. Players and coaches will say that the fans are important. But there is a limit.
Stress and anxiety are common when there is a feeling of losing control. Fans like to think that they have a lot of control over what is going on on the field of play. But it might be better to realize that it is the players that control the destiny of the game. Step back a little to just enjoy what is going on in front of you instead.
Think of the Bigger Picture
There are millions of football fans who know that Monday will be terrible if their team loses on a Sunday. In contrast, the start of the week will feel all the better if you watched your team win the day before. But fans should maybe realize that, after everything, they are just fans.
Losing that game might really hurt but it hasn’t affected your work life. That’s not the case for the players or the coaches. They are the ones who should be taking it personally. They might even lose their jobs because of a bad game. Think of the bigger picture and how insignificant that loss is in the wider context.
Figure 2 Concentrate on the fun elements of being a fan
Athletes are People Too
This next thing to think about carries on from recognizing that the game is more important for the athletes. When you start getting too stressed about how your team’s players are performing, remember that they are people too. They should be even more stressed than you, knowing a bad performance could affect their entire career.
This kind of reality check may be able to help when you are allowing losses and the performances of your team to dictate the way you are feeling. Take a moment to think how your star player feels and your worries and anxiety might be able to drain away.
Fandom is a Relationship
If being a fan is seriously affecting the rest of your life, you should really think about not putting yourself in situations where you are making yourself feel worse. But one way of dealing with that is to think of your fandom as a relationship. There are ups and downs in every relationship and you have to take the ups with the downs.
If things are bad now, that may just mean that better times are just around the corner. It is difficult to accept – but maybe we shouldn’t always take sports so seriously. It should be something that we enjoy, not something that we have to “deal” with after.