The Psychology of Watching Sports: What Fans Get from Watching Football | Psychreg

2023.01.04 16:59


Ellen Diamond

Published on: 12 June 2022

Last updated on: 16 June 2022

The Psychology of Watching Sports: What Fans Get from Watching Football

Cite This Ellen Diamond, (2022, June 12). The Psychology of Watching Sports: What Fans Get from Watching Football. Psychreg on Sport Psychology . Reading Time: 2 minutes

Football is the most popular sport on the planet and billions of people watch football on TV every year. For diehard football fans, there are lofty highs and extreme lows that come with the rollercoaster of watching their favourite teams play, especially in high profile fixtures. But what effect does watching football have on the fan? What are the good and the bad consequences?


One thing which fans can get out of watching their favourite sport is a sense of escapism from their everyday lives, which may be full of stress, anxiety and worry. This can be both a positive and negative impact as for some, escapism may not be the best way to deal with the deep-seated problems they are facing in real life. However, if used as a harmless escape from minor everyday issues, football could be a positive driver in people’s lives.

Group identity

One of the biggest things that many people derive from being a football fan is the sense of being part of a group. This is something very important in human life and something which can bring immense joy to an individual. The feeling that you are part of something bigger can make a person feel safe, happy and inspired. When your team wins, you share in the ecstasy. When they lose, you unite in sadness. Affiliation with any group, including a football club, could be really good for a lonely person in particular.


Depending on the personality of the individual, watching football could actually produce more stress as opposed to alleviating it. If a person is passionate about their team but also impatient and prone to anger, following a club can become stressful. The type of person who will stick by a team through thick and thin and support them unconditionally is unlikely to suffer from this problem too much. However, many fans can get enraged by a simple mistake or losing one game. For these personalities, watching football may not be the most positive pastime.


Particularly when watching big, important games, fans can be prone to anxiety just like the players. They can feel extreme nerves during the most high stakes moments of a football match. If these chemical reactions are occurring on a regular basis, the overall impact this could have on a person’s body and mind could be very negative.


watching football can bring about lots of positive feelings for the viewer. They can experience a sense of pride, a sense of belonging, an opportunity for escape, entertainment , and any number of enjoyable emotions. On the other hand, if you’re the type of fan who is likely to get a little too invested and a little too passionate, watching football regularly may have some negative impacts on your overall health.

Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

Psychreg is mainly for information purposes only; materials on this website are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Don’t disregard professional advice or delay in seeking  treatment because of what you have read on this website. Read our full disclaimer . 


Playing Sports Can Help with Emotional Pain
Athletes Warned Against Potential Dangers of Natural Supplements
Expert Says Watching the World Cup Is Good for Our Health

In Depth

How Smart Does One Need to Be to Ignore an Authority’s Opinion?

M. D. Poole

Manifestation Works, But Not for the Reasons You Think

Terence Watts

The Mainstream Media Needs to Talk About Detransitioners

Lisa Selin Davis

The Mental Health Profession Is at a Crossroads Between Science and Politically-Biased Narratives

Dr John Marshall

Issues of Longevity and Mental Health Issues

Maxwell Guttman, LCSW

How Can We Identify the Ethics for the Male Wounded Healer

Angelo Vincenzo de Boni

Life Is One Difficult Challenge

David Lean

Are There Gender Differences in Communication Style?

Manna Dey

Adults Are Teaching Children Attention-Seeking Behaviours on Social Media

Mary Beth Fox

You might also be interested in

My Miscarriage Profoundly Changed Me Premium London Clinic Opens Doors to Advance and Effective Keloid Removal 7 Tips for Parents of Children with Erb's Palsy Launch of New Plant-Based Protein Shake in 3 Unusual Flavours Depression Is Still a Misunderstood Illness How Burnout Is Affecting Our Mental Health and How to Manage It Audiovisual Professionalisation Affects How the Brain Perceives Media Content 5 Lasting Impacts of the September 11 Attack Saint Francis Hospice: Creating Memories That Last Forever Personality Traits Are Associated with Well-Being and Satisfaction in Life After Work 5 Common Instances of Wrongful Death: Knowing When to File a Lawsuit 7 Things You Should Know to Better Understand a Loved One Struggling with Addiction Reading Comics Is My Way of Escapism Vitamin D May Protect Against Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Are We the Same Person Throughout Our Lives? In Essence, Yes – Reveals New Research UK Ranked 13th Best Quality of Healthcare in the World – New Study New Study Finds Human Echolocators Can Better Locate Targets from Sideways Rather Than Straight Ahea Childhood Sexual Abuse and Swabbing Ways to Look After Your Mental Health This Christmas Event About Implementing the New RSE Curriculum to Be Held in London


Last Photo