UNT sport psychologist will discuss benefits of winning record on teams, fans

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - 15:37

During the last few months, you may have faced struggles in your personal and professional life — but if you’re a Dallas Cowboys fan, your overall mood is probably positive on Monday mornings, thanks to the team exceeding expectations with a winning record and a spot in the playoffs.

Trent Petrie, University of North Texas professor of psychology and director of the Center for Sport Psychology and Performance Excellence, will comment on the benefits of a winning record to both a sports team and its fans. He may be reached at Trent.Petrie@unt.edu and 940-453-9313.

While athletes often speak of playing because they love their sports, regardless of how often the team wins, "bottom line: we want to win because winning feels good," Petrie says.

"Athletes compete to challenge themselves and their teams, and when a team is able to put together a winning record, it’s a great high," he says.

For fans who put a lot of emotional energy into a certain team, "it’s simply fun to see them do well," Petrie says.

"A strong identification with a team means you have a momentary sense of positivity and well-being to get through bad times if your spirits are lifted by wins," he says.

Comparisons of one season to the following seasons "may make the positive feelings seem stronger" if the team exceeded expectations or just had a great year, Petrie says. Cowboys fans’ positive feelings may be doubled because the team went from losing 12 games to winning at least 12 games in one year.


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