Soccer returns, but very different from before. One of the big changes is in the stands. Fans, the main driver of this sport (and industry), will no longer cheer on their team from the stadium, they will have to do it from their homes, one of the consequences of the coronavirus and the 'new normal'. But fans will not be the only ones to have to get used to it, footballers must too. The locals will have to seek victory without their 12th player.

In the Bundesliga, the first of the major leagues to resume, you can see that the field factor has disappeared not having fans in the stadiums. Local victories have passed 43% before coronavirus to 22%; while draws rise to 28% and visitor wins to 50% (previously they were 35%). But they are not only seen in wins, but also in goals. Without the fans' heat, fewer goals are averaged in favor of the hosts (it has gone from an average of 1.75 per game to 1.39) and more against (1.81 now compared to 1.5 before). ).

On June 11, LaLiga will return with a Sevilla-Betis at Sánchez Pizjuán, but this will not be the first full game to be played behind closed doors. There were others before such as the recent Eibar-Real Sociedad in March or Barcelona-Las Palmas that was played without an audience by the referendum held in Catalonia on October 1, 2017. At that party he was present Pako Ayestarán, who debuted at the head of the Gran Canaria bench: “It was strange, but what was most the absence of noise. You are used to the tension, noise and boiling of the public. But it did not exist. Even my own breathing was noticeable. “That silence in the stands was occupied by the screams of the coaches and players, as the coach explains:”It was easier to get the information to them, but you had to be careful if you wanted to warn of a change in strategy, if not everyone found out. “

Ayestarán sees it logical that the Bundesliga is seeing a decrease in local victories: “The intensity in the matches is being lower. What mobilizes the human being is external feedback. Sometimes we are not able to demand and motivate ourselves. It is logical that visitors win more. It will not be the same to go to an empty stadium as to a full one. It will influence in an important way. You don't have the bonus that gives you the public's encouragement. “

Bundesliga

Local victories

Draws

Visiting victories

Local goals

Visiting goals

Local yellows

Yellow visitors

Before COVID-19

43% 22% 35% 1.75 1.5 1.72 2

After COVID-19

22% 28% fifty% 1.39 1.81 2.14 1.86

The sports psychologist talks about the effect of fans on soccer players María Blanco, from Train Your Mind: “The footballer is used to being surrounded by 40,000 or 50,000 people while playing and its activation during a match is related with that. Now, if that doesn't exist, it's going to be more like a workout, where the activation is much less. Except in a few cases in which there are some soccer players to whom the hobby causes anxiety, for most it is a stimulus. It helps them to be activated and their performance is more optimal. Now other strategies must be sought to supply this stimulus. Before, a player failed and the stands pushed him to continue and focus on your task. If the locals were asleep, the fans woke them up. “

Silence in the stands will be one of the tasks to be worked on before returning to the competition: “The matches are going to look so much like training that it will be easy to train. You have to find a stressful situation for the footballer, to help him activate because it causes frustration. You have to do exercises where failures remain. That goals and mistakes in training are as important as in a match, “says Blanco.” Now we could be talking about 50-50 percent in the face of this lack of public. They will be in the same situation. They must generate team routines to stay focused. “

Ayestarán agrees that this new reality of football should be worked in the Sports Cities: “These situations will have to be simulated in training. Each coach must seek that motivation according to the characteristics of their players. You have to pull the ones with the most character. That kind of winning player who doesn't allow a single failure. I have had the fortune to be in teams that existed that type of soccer player who with one glance transmitted tension to be attentive and not make mistakes. It will also be important the tension of the coach, who can be better transmitted in games and that sometimes did not reach them before. “

Players will have no choice but to adapt to these new circumstances until the stands fill up again in the future. The evolution of the pandemic and Health will be the ones that set the rhythms of his return to the fields. “Football without fans lacks everything. Football makes sense because there is a hobby behind it. The clubs have a tradition and remain in time because they are. But it is also true that we had to give a solution to what we have experienced and the correct decision is to go back to play and finish the season. You have to win and lose on the field, “adds Ayestarán.

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