Mental Edge: Is the home-field advantage a blessing or a curse?

Photo: Denny Simmons/Courier & Press

Home-Field advantage, does it exist or is it just a myth? Many sports teams compete hard all year long to gain home advantage in the playoffs… When you compete at home, there are definitely some advantages:

-Little to no traveling

-Better eating choices



Basically, all the advantages can be summed in a word… Comfort!  It is comfortable to know where you are competing, what the arena is like and who you will be competing in front of. Although there are some benefits competing at home, there are also some challenges. The biggest challenge is that athletes feel they are often EXPECTED to win when competing at their home arena.

Your coaches expect you to win. The fans expect a higher level of play and to Win, And often you expect to perform to excessively high standards. With higher expectations, the pressure to win or pull off the performance of a lifetime is also heightened. With the weight of higher expectations and increased pressure many athletes often perform worse when competing at their home turf. When you can let go of the expectations and the distractions, it’s easier to stay focused, relaxed and loose.

Three elements: Focus, relaxation and looseness. These qualities can put you in the right mindset to be at your best.

You want to have in the right mindset when competing at home. Use the advantages of playing at home to help you feel comfortable and confident. Enjoy the benefits of playing at home, but get into your bubble and do your job, only focus on the field and your opponent! .

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