Sports psychology 101
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
by Richard Stephen
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
HOW TO GET YOUR GIRLFRIEND/WIFE INTERESTED IN YOUR FAVOURITE SPORT
Guys love their sports. Sure, there are always exceptions but, in general, it is a trait most guys share. The more sports the better, right? The problem is that many women don’t share our love of sport. Again, there are always exceptions but the generality holds true. Indeed, many women resent our love of sports.
One of the problems with sports is that the games can be long. You can plan on 3 hours for a football or baseball game, if you don’t watch the pre-game and post-game coverage. And we all know they can go longer. If you are a NASCAR or other racing fan, you know how long those 400 and 500 mile races can last! With all the activities surrounding the game you can easily give up a whole afternoon to watch a game on television. Seeing a game in person usually will burn up a whole day!
This doesn’t usually sit well with our significant other. The time spent watching sports is often seen as time taken away from them. Your girlfriend or spouse often see themselves in direct competition with sports for your attention and rightly so in many cases. Some guys go completely overboard with sports and lose all perspective about what is really important. Many a relationship has ended because guys didn’t learn this lesson.
However, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. You can maintain a healthy relationship with a member of the opposite sex and enjoy your passion for sports at the same time. If fact, a shared love of sports can be a great way to enhance your relationship! Here are a few simple things you can do to encourage a passion for sport in your girl.
Be Willing to Compromise First
When I first married my wife wasn’t interested in basketball at all. This caused a good amount of tension as, being a huge Lakers fan, I hated to miss a single game. Having been single a long time I wasn’t used to having to consider someone else’s feelings in this way. She began to resent the time I spent watching the Lakers as time taken away from her.
So, instead of forcing a one or the other choice, I compromised. I decided to forgo some games just so I could spend time with her. I didn’t announce my decision; I just did it on my own. I didn’t whine or complain when missing a game I just gave her the attention she deserved. She realized what I was doing and she began to respond in kind by watching games with me. Soon, I found I was missing fewer games and we were watching more together. Guys, you need to be sincere about this. Women have a sixth sense about such things and they will quickly pick up on it if you are simply trying to manipulate them.
Teach Her the Game
Nobody enjoys watching something they don’t understand whether it is sports, business news or politics. If you don’t understand it, you don’t get it. Part of the reason soccer (or football to the rest of the world) isn’t as popular in the US as it is everywhere else is because we don’t understand the game. People of my generation (40s and older) didn’t grow up playing soccer and, frankly, those promoting soccer haven’t done a good job of helping us learn it. If you don’t understand it, you don’t tend to watch it.
The same holds true for your girl. Most girls didn’t grow up watching or playing the same sports we love. If you want her to watch these sports with you, you need to educate her. Help her to understand the fundamentals of the game, whatever it is.
Patiently explain the basic rules, scoring and plays of the game. Explain the timing, fouls and penalties and why things happen the way they do. Keep it simple and be patient! Patience is the key word here. We guys have a tendency to get caught up in the game and don’t have a lot of patience for interruptions in the form of questions. Remember, you’re the one that wants her to watch the game with you, after all. Be patient and gentle, it will pay off.
Help Her Make a Personal Connection
It is difficult for most women to become emotionally invested in sports like guys do. Most men have no problem developing attachments to teams with which they have had no real relationship to at all. I am a huge LA Lakers, Dodgers and USC Trojan fan yet I have never played for nor personally known a single player on any of those teams. Men can develop an attachment with a team simply by mental association. We talk about our favorite teams like we were a part of them. We won or lost that game today. A key trade makes us stronger. That injury really hurts our chances. See what I mean?
Women typically don’t do this. However, you can help her develop personal connections to the team by helping her get to know the individual players. Women will develop an interest in things when they can make a personal connection to it. This can be especially difficult in sports like football or hockey where players wear helmets or masks that cover their faces. It lends a measure of anonymity to the sport.
Talk to her about the players and what is going on in their lives. This is not hard to do as the personal lives of athletes are broadcast all over the TV and radio. Unfortunately, most of it is negative but pay attention for those things that you think your girl will connect to. Tell her that this athlete is dating that movie star or singer. Let her know that player’s wife just had a baby.
My wife, a Registered Nurse, developed a particular connection to LA Lakers guard Derek Fisher after I explained to her how he ended up back in Los Angeles when his young daughter was diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer. He was willing to give up his basketball career, if necessary, to care for his daughter and that really touched my wife.
A similar thing happened when I told her of a former pro quarterback had started a foundation dedicated to finding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis when his young son was diagnosed with it. She still asks about it to this day. Lamar Odom became her favorite Lakers after his lost his son to crib death before the start of the 2008 season. She felt such sympathy for him and would watch the games just to cheer him on! Help your girl make these connections and they will have more reason to watch the games with you.
Take Her to a Game
There is nothing like seeing a professional sporting event in person. It can sure be expensive but it is a great way to stimulate an interest in your girl for your favorite teams. Make a real event of it.
Spend Some Time Doing Something That Interests Her
This may be a bit of a sacrifice but isn’t this what you are asking of her. Isn’t it only fair? Don’t just go through the motions but make a sincere effort at it. You may actually end up enjoying her passion too. She may never love sports the way you do but the idea is to enjoy the shared experience and grow closer together while allowing each other to be themselves and enjoy their own passions.
If you show interest in that which interests her and allow her to pursue it, you are more likely to enjoy the freedom you pursue your interests as well. If you are really fortunate, you will be able to enjoy your passions with your significant other and vice-versa. Like any important relationship it is all about meeting needs and meeting in the middle.
by Richard Stephen
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS