Crowds Bring The Spirit But How Do They Impact Players?


Mady Mertens

Loud Crowds: Crowds are back at Dubs games and the players are seeing how the support in the stands is helping them — or changing their game perspective.

When participating in sports at North Atlanta, it comes with a lot of hard work, and the satisfaction that is felt when you and/or your team get better as a whole. When you finally get to go to compete against other teams at a game or meet, the experience is definitely exciting for the players. Not only because they prove to themselves and their team how much they’ve improved, but also because they can show the audience that attends these events how much they’ve improved. During the pandemic though, large crowds weren’t allowed at these events. Now, in coming back to school physically, students and teachers are again allowed to show their school spirit at events. Having experienced competing with and without an audience, the question is whether the audience makes the experience better for the player or not.

The way players felt about not having an audience during the pandemic seems to be fairly negative for some. The thought is that any sporting event will lose a large chunk of the energy surrounding it when lacking an audience to cheer on the players. Without all of those enthusiastic people there to spur the players on, they lose the energy that can motivate them as well. “If the crowd isn’t there, if you aren’t hearing yells as things heat up, it’s hard to get pumped like you can when they are there,” said senior basketball player Bryce Skurlark.

For some players, not having the audience there can help ease their nerves about competing. Although, while it can unnerve the players, it can also diminish their excitement about competing at the same time. “Not having to worry about people seeing any mistakes you make makes things more chill, but I’m more excited to perform when I have people watching,” said Joshua Goode, a junior basketball player.

The lack of a crowd during competition had actually done a service for some players during the pandemic. It allowed them to put more focus on winning. “I don’t know. When it’s just me and the other team, it’s easier for me to get in my zone” said senior basketball player Cameron Ratcliff.

Whether the student athletes feel they perform better with an audience or without an audience, most still prefer having the crowd there to cheer them on as they compete. The spirit displayed at sporting events are at a high when combined with an enthusiastic crowd, and that spirit cannot be rivaled. The hope is that we can stay in school physically and continue to enjoy attending the events of our fellow student athletes.