With sports shut down during COVID-19 pandemic, sports psychologist offers ways sports fans can spend their time

Posted at 6:50 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 23:05:39-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - As sports are canceled or shut down during the coronavirus pandemic, it's just about impossible for sports fans to find any live games to watch on TV as they spend time at home while social distancing.

That can certainly have an affect on a sports fan who's used implementing sporting events into their everyday routine.

“It does have a void," Scott Sautter, a licensed clinical psychologist and board-certified neuropsychologist for Hampton Roads Neuropsychology, said. "In a routine somebody would typically have and then suddenly it’s taken away from them, it would be distressing.”

So, what are the doctor's orders?

Dr. Sautter shares multiple ways sports fans can fill the void that sporting events typically fill. His first suggestion is to watch old games or events that bring back good memories.

“For example, the UVA beating Florida State in 1995, when that program comes back on people remember different memories they had about that game or other types of events," Dr. Sautter said. "Vicarious reinforcement, essentially, of those great times that you had by watching different highlights.”

If you're not in the mood to watch old games, he also recommends finding a new activity to take part in. If your spending most of your time indoors while working from home or practicing social distancing during the spread of COVID-19.

"When that happens a person feels inactive and they start to slow down, and they don’t feel as energetic," Dr. Sautter said. "It’s important to try to do something outside. You can practice social distancing, but something just to get out and do something different.”