By packing student sections, sports fans empower athletes

By ElsaJurrens

Student Section cheers at Marian’s first home volleyball game on Sept. 5. Photo by Joie Ferrara.

In the past, Marian has been known to have a loud, energetic student section. Somewhere along the line, between intense academics, hobbies, and other activities, students haven’t prioritized attending sporting events. The past two years, Covid was to blame, but now, there are no excuses. When athletes step onto the court, field, mat, turf, or track they are put to the test mentally and physically. An athlete’s performance improves because of a phenomenon called social facilitation. People act/play differently when they have an audience. 

Playing with fans and a student section can motivate players, allowing players to push their performance and play to the best of their abilities. Fans can give athletes the uplift they need to win. Senior Amelia Roth offers insight as a volleyball player and as the Marian Mascot. “As an athlete I really appreciate the student section and just having them there and being loud and hyping us up; it pulls together the whole team.”

Fans and student sections can either help cheer on the players and make the games more exciting and lively, or they can pick up and support the team if the game goes in the opposite direction. Whatever the outcome of the game is, student sections give a huge boost to the players. 

In some cases, a student section can also intimidate and get into the other team’s head. Friendly fire against other teams builds a sense of community. No longer are odds and evens against each other, instead it is Marian, one big school as a whole. This creates a unifying atmosphere. 

A student section plays a huge role in the sporting teams’ success. Knowing a friend or classmate is cheering for you and wanting you to succeed gives many athletes an extra push to win.

If you can’t go to a game, there are other ways to support your favorite Marian team. Following the sports teams’ social media pages, or even congratulating the players in the hallways or in class helps boost fan engagement. Roth advises Marian girls, “Wishing athletes good luck or asking them how they did’’ can be as supportive as yelling from the stands.

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