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How Playing in an Empty Stadium Affects Athletes

 

http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/04/how-playing-in-an-empty-stadium-affects-athletes.htmlIt can be helpful for the ones who aren’t good at blocking out distractions.

This afternoon, the Baltimore Orioles are playing a home game against the Chicago White Sox in front of an empty stadium, a drastic measure taken by Major League Baseball in response to the unrest in the city this week. It’s believed to be the first time in league history a game has been played with no fans in attendance, and it raises the question: How does the total lack of spectators affect athletes who are used to playing in front of tens of thousands of people?

There’s some research on the topic of crowd engagement and performance. A 2011 study looked at how athletes in different sports performed specific tasks while spectators booed, cheered, or remained silent. The results varied by sport. Basketball players shooting free throws, it found, were unaffected by the crowd, while baseball pitchers performed worse when jeered, and a golfer performed best with silence. Read more…