The fact that you’re reading this piece means that watching sports is one of your favorite activities. Watching your favorite team or athlete put on a show for millions of people has become a fixture of modern life.
However, you may have questioned whether your sporting fandom gives you any value aside from giving you joy whenever your team wins. Becoming fixated on one (or multiple) sports teams can take up much of your free time.
This article is the bearer of good news: there is value in watching sports. Focusing your attention on your favorite team can greatly benefit the sports fan. It may not be evident at first glance, but these benefits can positively impact your life.
This piece will note the benefits you can get from watching your favorite sports teams. We’ll also list why we love watching our favorite players and teams play and succeed in their chosen sports.
Before we discuss the benefits of being a sports fan, we must determine what being a sports fan is in the first place. While it sounds obvious, laying out what it entails to be a hardcore sports fan is important. It also lets you know if you’re already living and breathing your favorite team or if you can step up your fandom a notch.
A sports fan can be defined as an individual who is an avid follower of a team or athlete. Physical fitness and experience with playing the sport of choice will rarely matter with sports fandom. However, some game knowledge can help you better understand what’s happening on the field or court.
WebMD looks at the manifestation of sports fandom in three ways.
There could be different reasons why they love watching sports. However, one thing’s clear: they willingly get invested in whatever’s happening in the game. These fans also willingly buy expensive merch. They also analyze off-season moves their team makes to see how it benefits the team.
A great boon of sports fandom is the boost it can provide to the mental health of others. It can provide relief to people who have various mental conditions.
Depression is one of the world’s most prevalent and dangerous mental conditions. An estimated 264 million people were reportedly dealing with depression in 2020. And with various factors that affect mental health, it’s not strange to think that the number of people suffering from this illness has also increased.
However, watching your favorite team or athlete battle for supremacy in their chosen sport can improve your mood. The aesthetically pleasing nature of sports—alongside the possibility of your team winning—can improve your mood and combat symptoms of depression.
Sports fans will be the first to tell you that watching games aren’t relaxing. It’s nerve-wracking whenever your team struggles against their opponent or mere points just separate the lead.
But did you realize that you feel better after stressing over your team’s games? Whenever you watch your team compete, you enter a phase of euphoria and worry known as eustress. Your body receives an injection of adrenaline and dopamine, which gives you an exhilarating feeling.
Moreover, cheering on your favorite team can help you forget your problems. Accumulating stress from daily life can have various detrimental physical and mental effects. Supporting your favorite team for a couple of hours can help alleviate your stress and leave you feeling refreshed.
It may sound counter-intuitive when you first hear that watching sports can make you smarter. After all, one of the biggest reasons you watch sports is to entertain yourself and not use your brain to think now and then.
But did you know that watching your favorite team make the playoffs or score the all-important goal stimulates your brain?
Forbes published an article revealing that fans who regularly watch professional sports leagues are also actively using their brains. Studies showed that fans who watch sports actively engage the same areas of the brain as those playing on the field.
Watching sports engages new neural networks that improve brain function and boost your language-learning capabilities. The brain areas stimulated by spectating sports affect planning and control, which also helps improve memory.
Human beings are naturally social creatures and require socialization to develop as human beings. Interacting with others is essential in a person’s development, and sports fandom offers a tremendous opportunity for people to interact with others.
A lack of proper social interaction can negatively affect your social skills. Since a lack of social skills can impact your physical and mental health, finding opportunities to interact with others becomes essential.
Getting involved in watching sports gives you opportunities to share your passion with like-minded people. It becomes easier to talk to fellow fans since you follow the same sport or support the same team. Even if you interact with fans of rival teams or athletes, the interactions you get out of them will fulfill your socialization needs.
These are only some benefits you can get from watching your favorite sports. While most of these perks are related to your mental health, becoming a sports fan can improve your life in different ways.
If you’re looking for a way to start becoming a sports fan, watching games is the quickest way of doing so. Another is to open a sports betting account at OKBET and bet on the best sporting events.