Friday, 30 September 2011

Psychology of sport

I have always been interested in psychology and would have loved to do it at degree level. As it went, my school did not offer it at A level standard and not fancying diving into it at university blindly, I opted for history instead. C'est la vie. Even so, it has always been a topic which has attracted me, especially when it comes to sport. I have always thought that, if one was to discover certain psychological trends on the pitch (rather than in the markets) then they could create a betting system surrounding it. This may seem a bit wishy-washy at present - probably because I have nothing to back it up with yet, and I am sitting on a train rambling my thoughts - but I intend to delve into my thesis over the year. Doubtless someone has already researched such ideas, and if they have I'd love to hear from them, anything at all.
I have been considering this in my head for years really, but it was pushed to the front of my brain after djokovic came from 2 down to beat Fed in the US open semi final. What I would like to investigate is; how often is it that a player gets a set back after being 2-0 down and goes on to win driven by their adrenaline? And does it happen enough to warrant betting on it?
Other things I would like to look into: the mentality of the underdog, particularly in cups, seeing how many times they avoid defeat at long odds, and how many times they win after taking the lead; the difference between the performances of smaller teams vs bigger teams in comparison to when they play other small teams; the impact of the crowd/being at home; how often strikers go on runs of form after scoring a goal; football results midweek. The latter is something which has been pressing on my mind for some time now, as I have restricted myself from betting match odds in the week due to the volatility in matches. Now this *may* well be something I have created in my mind and actually holds no weight, but I think that evening kick offs might be more volatile than the standard 3 o'clocks. Monday saw sunderland lose again, having lost most (can't remember the actual stat) of their Monday matches over the last few years. Normally stats like this I would dismiss, for instance we do not know who they played in these games, whether they were home or away, whether Roy keane was their manager (cos he was awful), but at the same time I can't help wonder if it is a pattern with true meaning. I remember (this is the last anecdote I promise) a few years back when Old 'Arry was gaffer at pompey and they faced united at old trafford in the FA cup (the year they went on to win it). 'Arry said in the pre match interview that he was offered a KO time and he picked 12.45 to try and ruffle the United feathers, not wanting to have a 5.15 as the evening atmosphere at OT would be too intimidating. United battered them but were destined not to win it seems with carrick missing a sitter and Rio having to go in goal after 2 keepers had been injured and sent off. Pompey won one nil with a pen. I will certainly be looking at how different teams perform at different times and I will keep you all posted on anything I discover.
Moving on, I still have no internet at my new uni accommodation so I cannot begin the ventures outlined in previous posts, but it should be up and running by Monday with any luck. All my plans are now pretty much sorted and I am raring to go. Enjoy your weekend and watch this space.


  1. You may find this helpful

  2. Very interesting. Thanks!