Athletes come across many challenges. One of the biggest and reoccurring is playing in different venues. Athletes do have a home court advantage and disadvantages when playing on the road.
The main difference for a team playing at home and away is the crowd. When a team is playing at its home school the entire crowd is cheering for them. When playing on the road the crowd is pulling against the team.
“It’s a lot easier to play at home,” Bethany Wray a junior on the volleyball team, said. “You have the crowd behind you, versus having them against you and distracting you. As an athlete that is something that you have to get over. You can’t let the crowd distract you.”
A sophomore on the football team Robbie Diamond conquers that it is more of an advantage for the home team.
“Playing at home you have the crowd,” he said. “It’s more of an advantage for the home team because it’s your atmosphere and your home turf and nobody can take that away from you.”
The teams needs to remember to play for each other as well as put a show on for the crowd.
“In team sports you play for each other that should be your main focus,” Wray said. “But I think it’s important to remember that there are people who take the time to come and watch. They want to see your best effort.”
Another reason that playing at home might be more of an advantage to any team is the referees have a tendency to favor the home team and feed off the crowds’ energies.
“A lot of time the referees get caught up in the crowds’ energy,” Damian Lillard, a junior on the basketball team said. “You might get calls at home that you might not get on the road.”
There is no bad thing about playing on your home field, Diamond said.
“There is no negative thing about playing at home because one you’re at home turf and two it’s your school that you are defending,” he said.
Playing at home puts the team in a comfort zone, Lillard said.
“I think we play better as a team when we are at home because that’s where we are most comfortable,” he said. “Everything works for our advantage so it makes it a lot easier.”
Although playing away seems to be always a negative thing there are some good things that come out of it.
“I like the challenge of playing away,” Lillard said. “There are a lot of advantages when you play at home and I like the challenge of going up against all of those things the home team has in their favor.”
Playing at home and away is part of the game for any athlete, coach, and team. Those challenges are unique to each different team and it’s what they adapt to, but each team has a sense of pride that will continue to keep the competitive edge in every sport.
“A lot of it comes down to pride,” Wray said. “It’s not necessarily being competitive all the time. It’s having pride. It’s not that you always have to win. It’s having pride and putting in your best efforts to defend that pride.”