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Psychology in sports betting – it’s all in your head, stupid
- Updated: 5th February 2020
Your head! Your mind! The psychological aspect! In sports betting, in sports and in life in general! The most important and neglected aspect. When it comes to love, there is no “heat”. In terms of fear, there are no “guts”. In sports betting, there is no “instinct”.
Psychology in sports betting – it’s your mindset, stupid!
These are all synapses processed by the neurons of the several areas of our brain. But calm down, I won’t bore you with anatomy.
Firstly, who am I? My name is Francisco Rodrigues (also known as Francisco del Mundo), I’m 38 years old (aged well), I’m from the north of Portugal (but have been all around the world) and I have master’s degree in performance psychology.
I say performance and not sports psychology because a lot of the things that happen in our brain are common to athletes, military, sports bettors, maestros, etc.
My friends at InsideBet challenged me to write some articles that combine psychology with sport and sports betting.
There is plenty of material to write about. For a matter of logic, my first articles will be more related to sports betting itself.
And only then will I speak about aspects related with the sport and that are sometimes determinant in the way you should analyse a match.
These are all questions that I’ve been studying over the course of these two years where I’ve been trying to follow athletes (of individual and collective sports), teams (at several levels and age levels) and national teams (both male and female).
Unlike in some other countries, where sports psychology is already spoken about since the halfway point of last century, it only started being discussed in Portugal for the past 15 years.
That’s because of 2 main reasons: firstly, because the physical, technical and tactical aspects were prioritized at first and people only realized that something could still falter beyond that (in this case the mental aspect) and secondly, because there still is somewhat of a prejudice (in society and in sports even more) that only people who are crazy should see psychologists.
Well, if that’s the case, then we are all crazy.
Because there isn’t anyone that goes through life (be it regarding relationships, work, etc.) without periods of “craziness” and bewilderment.
And one of my biggest struggles throughout all these years (within the sport and outside of it as well) has been normalizing the act of recurring to a psychologist.
And not only in clinical cases. It doesn’t have to be the last resort, when the damage is already done. No, I work on the potentiation of performance, taking someone and helping him improve his skillset.
One of the reasons that led me to take on this challenge is bringing psychology into the light of day. Making it leave the shadows of the unknown and clarify what it is, what it does, how it works, for whom and why…
As I will speak about on a different article, sports and sports betting are two universes full of myths and rituals.
And just like I do with my athletes and clients, I like to take apart these imaginary creations and limiting to what is tangible and controllable.
Life already has too many imponderable aspects, so we don’t need to invent a couple more.
In the same fashion, I will confront psychology with other interventions there are in the world of sports.
I don’t pretend to say it is the best thing ever, but at least one thing I can say for sure: psychology is based on science.
As for the other things I’ve mentioned are based on beliefs and faith. I will explain my side and let each and every one of you draw your own conclusions.
I hope you enjoy what you read and that it may help you in sports betting and life in general.