Winning Isn’t Everything: 5 Tips for Super Bowl Perspective
January 27, 2016
My wife would say I am the last man on Earth who should give others advice on how to be a less obsessive sports fan. I do love my sports. Actually, it may be my own voracious fandom, and of course my psychiatric training, that give me my unique perspective.
I watch so much sports that I often I don’t have a horse in the race and watch just to enjoy. However, the recent NFL playoff games sorely tested my resolve to watch and enjoy meditatively. And there’s even research to suggest that isn’t an altogether bad thing, as there are psychological benefits of feeling passionately connected to a team.
Balancing Passion and Fun
Our society puts a great deal of emphasis on success. We want to win. We want our athletes to be the heroes in some kind of magical sports fantasy. Instead, they are human like us, and sometimes that makes us angry. We don’t want to be fallible, and we don’t want them to be either. We don’t want them to fumble. We don’t want them to cheat. But sometimes they do.
So now, with the biggest football game of the year on the horizon, it’s probably a good time to take a look at how we can avoid getting so caught up in the competition that we forget to enjoy the game.
Here Are 5 Tips for Super Bowl Perspective:
- Remember, no matter how much they are paid, no matter how many records they set, these players are just human, playing a game for our entertainment.
- Try to be a little reflective this Super Bowl weekend. Family and friends are the most important parts of our lives; not how successful we are, or how successful our team is.
- Wherever you watch the game, take time to enjoy good food and good company. Watching with others will force you to consider their perspective, and hopefully prevent you from getting too consumed by your own.
- Shake a hand, share a hug, and interact in a meaningful way with those you love.
- Explain a trick play to a football novice; marvel at the beauty of a perfect spiral; vote for your favorite ads.
By making your Super Bowl experience less about the players and the score, you may just find that you enjoy the day a lot more.
Daniel B. Kravitz, MD
Daniel B. Kravitz, MD, is a psychiatrist with Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital. Dr. Kravitz has a deep interest in sports, and the psychological aspect of athletes’ well-being.
Education: Medical school—Jefferson Medical College; Residency—Abington Memorial Hospital and Medical College of Pennsylvania.