The expansion of the newspaper together with the radio, facilitated the rapid dissemination of competitions and sports news, both constituting a means through which to attract more audiences and creating a reciprocal relationship between the media and sports. Later, television contributed even more to popularizing sporting events, to the point that television companies now include in their programming the broadcasting of their games, championships, leagues, news, and channels on the world of sports.
The importance of Sports News practice in its communicative aspect is clear. A lot of space is dedicated to promoting sport as a show since sports journalism is one of the news modalities with the largest audience today.
How does the media influence sports performance?
Soccer is one of the most popular sports, due to the millions of fans and spectators who follow it around the world. The influence it exerts on people is evident, it is part of their reality, even if their identity, finding in football a way to express their emotions in a cathartic way, which otherwise they might not do. The followers identify with a team from the league of their country and with their selection, they adopt the characteristic colors and symbols that reinforce their self-esteem and integration in a certain group or social group.
Since the appearance of the Internet, the modes of distribution and dissemination of content have multiplied, displacing television and radio to the background. The resources directed to soccer on the net are abundant, from the web pages of each club to the soccer channels that broadcast the games in real-time.
The influence of public evaluation on the performance of athletes, according to Fernando Gimeno et al. (2001), is a specific stress variable because it constitutes a very specific factor related to assessment and social anxiety. Influence can be produced through the opinions of external agents, receiving criticism or recognition, observing gestures, and listening to instructions or comments from people important to the athlete.
The vast majority of high competition footballers psychologically experience the pressure, often excessive, of the media, of the fear of disappointing the expectations of the general public and physical exhaustion due to the large number of competitions that they are forced to play.
The constant pressure, both external and internal, to which the players are subjected, manifests itself in a high activation that, poorly managed, can lead to a loss of concentration, lack of motivation, a manifestation of irrational beliefs and the appearance of episodes of anxiety or other derived psychological problems. Therefore, the pressure to satisfy public and media opinion, together with the mismanagement of criticism received from the environment, can negatively influence the player’s environment and sports performance, if the player does not have sufficient strategies, skills or confidence in their coping style.
The footballer plays in and for a team, a city, and sometimes representing an entire country, feeling the obligation to win to meet general expectations. The external pressure for the result is undeniable, they may have played the best game of their life, the most important thing is if they have won and got all three points. In the same way, the players feel a great responsibility with their team, and with their followers, they have to give their best and they must not disappoint the fans. A hobby that watches carefully any action on the pitch, praises a pass or a goal, penalizes the error as much as possible, and if the results are not reached whistles or insults.
The elite athletes of this type of sports are continually exposed to evaluation and criticism, not only of themselves on a personal level but also of their followers and the sports media that judge they’re worth, always being within the media focus and Sometimes they are discredited to increase the sale of newspapers or guarantee higher levels of audience.
How can a sports psychologist help?
Sports psychologists can teach players to find their optimal activation point and to look for the sensations that lead them to that excellent coping area. The objective is to develop those coping skills and strategies that contribute to the athlete being able to control the anxiety generated by situations in which his environment or the athlete himself makes a negative evaluation of his performance, which will lead him to perform the best sports performance.
Sport has a great social impact and could be used to build a better society, with ethical values of solidarity and companionship. If a player bases his performance on social recognition when he does not have the public in favor, he will sink and his performance will decrease. Therefore, it is worth helping to work on the emotional and mental part of athletes, so that they learn to adequately cope with stressful situations and thus achieve the maximum possible performance that they can offer. In short, it is about providing solutions and encouraging.