Since the opening of the modern Olympic Games in 1896, no two summer games in international sports have looked exactly the same.In a series of weirdness there are The infamous 1904 St. Louis Marathon, Less than half of the starters were able to complete the race; 1956 Blood in water A water polo match between Hungary and the Soviet Union a few weeks after the Soviet invasion; and Two appearances in figure skating At the Summer Olympics in 1908 and 1920. Many countries have also boycotted or been banned from participating in the Olympic Games. But in its 125-year history, fans have been attending-that is, until this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Like many other things, COVID-19 changed everything.The Prime Minister of Japan pushes for the decision Ban the audience, Even family members, by issuing State of emergency Earlier this month, Tokyo issued a decree in response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and the spread of Delta variants.The previous plan was to fill the playing field with up to 50% of the capacity With local audiences.
From the perspective of sports psychologists, the Olympic Games without fans is a real-life scientific experiment, which is helping researchers and clinicians to sort out the real impact of a group of fans on their athletes and domestic audiences. The strange environment in which the competition is held may bring unexpected pressure to some athletes. On Tuesday, gymnastics superstar Simone Byers withdrew from the women’s team competition. She told her teammates and reporters that she was not suitable for the competition. “This Olympics is very stressful,” Byers Tell Washington post“On the whole, there are no spectators. There are many different variables going into it.” Later, Byers also decided not to participate in individual all-around events.
Byers’ struggles may be common among Olympic athletes this year. “On the court, on the court, no matter where their game is, players have this uncertainty. They are facing an unprecedented situation,” a sports and sports psychology practitioner at Optimize Potential, a British sports psychology consulting company Louise Byrne said that she added that part of the ambiguity was due to the suddenness of the decision, which prevented spectators from entering the venue. A few weeks ago The start of the game.
The 2020 Summer Olympics-even the time-distorted name highlights the singularity of the event-with similarities and differences from other major sporting events, these events must be designed with creative solutions to prevent spectators. Hold a competition under. Both the Premier League and La Liga use crowd noise from the Premier League to supplement match broadcasts. Football video game FIFA 20, Real-time mixing with game audio.Taiwan baseball team and German football team Start filling the bracket with cardboard cutouts Of fans, and international popular trends, especially in the U.S. baseball and basketball fields.
The pandemic emphasized the importance of bystanders to sports culture. Daniel Wann, a professor of psychology at Murray State University in Kentucky who studies sports psychology and fan behavior, said this explains why sports leagues have achieved varying degrees of success in compensating for the lack of live fans. “It’s not like the NBA has a committee that aims to figure out how to create fans if they are not there,” he said. “They just make up things while walking and do their best to do a good job, but for casual or high-end fans, none of this seems true.”
The fan’s cardboard paper-cutting aims to alleviate the disappointment of seeing the empty stands and even comfort the audience watching at home. Wann said that the camera angle of TV sports games usually includes part of the stands, and there is a reason for this.
But in contrast, the Olympic Games will not use any of these props. The US team or the Chinese team will not have false crowd noise or two-dimensional images of fans. On the one hand, the disappointment is already obvious. Approximately 17 million Americans Watched the opening ceremony, which is a small part of the number of spectators at the previous Olympic Games.Listener Described it Like “gloomy” and “desolate”.
However, for one of the world’s top athletes, subverting one’s own expectations is more than disappointing; it also affects performance. Ohio State University track team chief sports psychologist and former national gymnast Jamie Hall said that competitive athletes have received visualization training-imagine performing specific movements or movements, such as performing rounding backhands in gymnastics. Without moving muscles, players who use visualization can consolidate neural connections and activate their motor cortex, which is the area of the brain that controls movement.
Houle said that for the most effective visualization, athletes working with sports psychologists will try to simulate actual game conditions as closely as possible. He said that in preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, athletes may have practiced with false crowd noise before the spectator ban was announced. Therefore, an empty stadium may have a measurable impact on player performance.
This phenomenon is based on a Social promotion, Refers to a person’s performance changes when other people are around compared to when a person is alone. Top athletes tend to perform better in the crowd than when alone, while weaker athletes falter. “If there is a lack of audience, in theory, you should see that the overall performance level may not be as high as before,” Wann said. According to this logic, there may be fewer records in this Olympics, and the gap between athletes — the difference between the highest and lowest results — may be even smaller.
No fans on site will affect home advantage, Statistics Supported Phenomenon, And one item that will benefit Japanese competitors this summer. Although there is different evidence about the effect of crowd noise on players’ attention and ability, Wan En said that the presence of crowd noise may be more distracting than its presence. Houle said that when the home football game was held at Ohio State University without spectators last season, the stakes felt low, which seemed to have an impact on the player’s performance. “I hear the chatter around me, it feels like a high school football game,” he said.
The acoustics of a venue, stadium, or stadium without fans can have unintended consequences for both players and spectators. Without the roar of the crowd, the sound of the game will spread farther-predictably, grunts, but there are also conversations between referees, and perhaps the most embarrassing thing is the abuse that shouldn’t be heard. Wan En said that he often watched sports fans during the slow time of the game. During the pandemic, he began to observe the reactions of the few fans and players who were allowed to participate in the game: “You will see some people on the court, they Keep your eyes open during the timeout. They hear things they might not hear normally.”
This article was updated on July 28.