home court advantage

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I am a sports management professor at Marshall University - but on the side I am also a weekly columnist for a magazine called the Herd Insider. It focuses solely on Marshall University Athletics.

Marshall's basketball team this year is 10-1 at home and 3-5 on the road. At home is allows the opponents to socre on 67 points. On the road, the opponents score 88 points (21 point difference). Basically, the difference between the team that plays at home and the one that plays on the road is night and day.

The head coach puts enormous pressure on the guys before road games. He typically says stuff like "It's tough to win on the road. Everyone is against you. The refs aren't going to give you any calls, etc."

In this week's column (due Sunday, Feb. 13) I would love to hear some sports psychologist's explainations as to what might cause a team to struggle so bad on the road and if the coach is part of the problem.

Please give me some quotes and your name. That way I can quote you in the story. Or, if you would rather give me a quote and I not use your name - well we can do that also.

Thanks for your help.

Clark Haptonstall HPER MArshall Univ.

-- Clark Haptonstall (clark.haptonstall@marshall.edu), February 10, 2000


It seems as though the coach is setting the team up with a loss before the game even starts. He has given them every excuse in the book for loosing, and they will revert to these excuses if things don't go well. You gave little other information, but based on what you provided, I would encourage the the coach to remind the team prior to the game how good it feels to win the way they do at home, they are the same players with the same talent that play at home. Point out all the things that are similar, not different. Encourage them to "take this as a challenge and an opportunity, because the other team is expecting us to roll over and die--let's attack while they are sleeping"

-- lynda camenzind (lyndac@citcom.net), February 25, 2000.

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