Essay on The Effects Of Baseball On Baseball Player Performance

Essay on The Effects Of Baseball On Baseball Player Performance

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In the immortal words of Yogi Berra, “Baseball is ninety percent mental, and the other half is physical.” Although perhaps not mathematically correct, there is no doubt that the mental side of baseball plays a huge role in the sport. One of the primary psychological components of America’s favorite pastime stems from one source: the fans. When a game consists of mainly these three psychological components, fans can easily affect the outcome of the player’s game.
There is very little research focused on specifically measuring the effects of spectators on baseball player performance. One of the few in existence was conducted in 2011 and published in the North American Journal of Psychology. This study was composed of college athletes performing a familiar task in their respective sport (pitching, free throw shooting, hitting a golf ball) in front of spectators who cheered, jeered, or remained silent, depending on the assigned condition. Baseball pitchers were negatively affected by jeers, golfers were surprisingly affected negatively by both cheers and jeers, and basketball players were unaffected by the audience’s reaction (Epting).
One way fans affect the baseball players is their focus. On one hand, the screaming, singing, and stadium-pounding can interfere with a player’s focus. On the contrary, too little fan interaction can also be distracting, “It’s tougher to stay focused in the game,” Zach Britton (Crasnick), speaking of a major league baseball game played without spectators in 2015. When there is no audience cheering, players can overthink the situation which results in poor performance (Crasnick).
Sometimes the antics of the fans can disrupt the communication between the players and the coaches. They can be so loud that ...


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...ide evidence that spectators do influence baseball games. Although meaningful, these two situations may not provide a complete picture. The Epting study was limited because players were judged only on a few specific skills (like pitching); they were not playing an actual game. Therefore, the stress factor and the adrenaline were not as high as in a regular game. The audience was only composed of ten people which is practically nothing compared to a real ball game, again eliminating the factors that put actual baseball games on a different level.
The outcome of a player’s game is heavily dependent on the psychological side. Fans can make or break a player. With about Ninety-nine percent of the attendance at baseball games being made up of fans, it’s no wonder the greatest coach of all time claimed that baseball is ninety percent mental, and the other half is physical.

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