Studies showed testosterone levels predict victory in all sports. Further research showed that players from the home team produce as much as 17% more testosterone than the players from the away team. It’s probably got something to do with the very instinctive urge to protect the tribe/home. In a football world in which the small details make the difference between winners and losers – 17% more testosterone, a hormone that boosts levels of aggression, motivation and competitiveness, are a big deal.
This might partly explain why playing “home” is a big advantage and why approximately 60% of the games, which do not end in draws, are won by the home team.
The primitive territoriality of playing on your home ground turbo-charges testosterone levels and this in turn makes the home team more likely to win. So the more the players feel at home – the more testosterone they’ll have in their blood. This is where the fans play a big part. It’s essential they make their players feel at home.
The androgen receptors, which are receiving stations for testosterone, are playing an important part in this home advantage science. The more there are of them, the more powerfully any single spurt of testosterone will affect the players’ brain. Home wins increase androgen receptors in the parts of the brain that are responsible for aggression and motivation. Away wins increase increase androgen receptors on the aggression front but not in the motivation part. So, this might be nature’s way to tell us it’s perfectly natural to “protect your home” and not so natural to “conquer” other people’s homes.
Anyhow, if “away wins” are not “natural” – what’s the secret of an all-conquering team?
Away wins require a rise above aggression and motivation, which are primitive instincts. That’s because the home team will naturally be more aggressive and motivated. What’s important for an away team is a tactical plan to counter the extra motivation and aggression of the home team. A cunning plan, sharp technical abilities (which a critical for handling with “mental pressure” according to the “Audience Theory”) and special motivation to be a conqueror are needed to get the all important away win.
Do Real Madrid have all these ingredients?
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