I have been contacting various people from the world of sports, from Fanzines, Psychologists and Clubs and i had very little response and was pleasantly surprised to receive a reply from a Dr Robert Weinberg. He is a sports psychologist from America and now works for a sports company. I asked if it was possible for him to write a piece to go at the start of my lulu book to provide some context.
His Foreword was as follows:-
Winning and losing and performing well and poorly are all part of sport competition. Many factors go into an athlete’s performance but certainly one of them is the audience. There’s been a lot of research on the home field advantage much emanating from the theoretical perspective of Drive Theory. However, empirical research has sometimes supported the benefit of playing at home whereas other research has demonstrated that playing at home might actually be a disadvantage due to the pressure on the home team. Coaches and athletes spend lots of time preparing to play in front of opposing crowds who can get quite unruly. There are lots of factors affecting a team’s play at home or on the road (e.g., travel, playing surface, officials, etc) but most assuredly fans are an important part of the equation. So the more we can learn about the impact of fans on performance, the better off coaches and athletes will be in terms of preparation.