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What Makes the Sports Win So Thrilling

Everyone loves winning, but have you ever thought about why that is? Sure, winning is better than losing and winning means you’ve accomplished something and overcome a challenge. But there’s even more to it than that. The next time you’re celebrating a victory, think about how these factors have contributed to your elation.


Image via Flickr by khmerfighter


Which is a more exciting experience for a fan — having your favorite team blow a hated rival out of the water within the first 30 minutes, or having your team come back for a last-minute victory in double overtime? Many people don’t want to see a game that’s settled quickly and then boring for the next few hours. Instead, they want something that makes the game interesting: conflict. The potential for loss makes victory all the sweeter. This is especially true when a team overcomes conflict despite the odds.

The Game Itself

For many people, the game itself is what makes the thrill of a win so exciting. For example, do you know any sports fan who will watch a game regardless of who’s playing? These people want to see a solid performance — good fundamentals, perfect performance, and a hard-fought victory. These people value the technique behind the sport, individual effort, and a well-executed play.

The Unexpected

Sports don’t follow a script. Anything can happen in a game, and athletes are capable of feats that might surprise even them. A really good play could shock and satisfy you, but a better example of the thrill of the unexpected is beating the odds. Cinderella stories, though rare, are so exciting that people who don’t follow or enjoy sports can appreciate what has happened.


The thrill of victory isn’t exclusive to athletics. A sports win is similar to many other types of satisfying winning experiences, like this big win at Tropicana Online Casino. For example, different types of gambling incorporate things like skill, overcoming odds, and unexpected outcomes — which hopefully work in your favor. Other people simply like the technique, poise, and execution of a good player. In this case, a win will be satisfying in a way that’s very similar to a sports victory.


One of the biggest factors that makes a sports win so exciting is that you aren’t the only one celebrating. There’s a lot working in the brain when it comes to sports fandom. Here are a few of the fan-related factors that get you fired up after a win:

  • Improved self-esteem: If you sat by your team and cheered them on along the whole way, you’ll feel like you played a personal role in the victory.
  • Greater comradery: Strangers have a direct connection through sports. After your team wins, you’ll experience an unmistakable union with anyone else who supports your team.
  • Stronger self-identity: Supporting a team is an easy way to build your self-identity. When your team wins, it’ll feel like you’ve won too.

Winning is a wonderful experience. Hopefully, you’re sharing in it a lot this year as you watch your favorite team play. The next time you’re jumping up and down with strangers at a sports bar or arena, you can smile knowing about some of the psychology that’s making you want to celebrate.

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