August 16, 2017

A Therapist’s Letter to Predators Fans…

  • by Laura Little, NCC
  • June 9, 2017
  • 0

A Therapist’s Letter to Pred’s Fans

Dear Nashville Predator fans,

Over the past two months, I’ve watched seemingly calm bandwagon/fair-weather fans be converted into catfish throwin’, superstitious, emotional, and late to work “because the game was on last night” fans. We collectively have a desperate and deep seeded belief that our team, the Nashville Predators, can finally represent this awesome city the way we deserve to be. As game 6 of the Stanley Cup approaches, we are becoming more and more vulnerable.

Why vulnerable?

We are vulnerable to being hurt by the Predators because it’s the Stanley Cup. The pinnacle of the sport. Nothing is more satisfying than watching your team make a championship run. It is impossible for us to influence the outcome as a spectator and this pure form of fandom has no boundaries. And without boundaries, we are at the utmost risk of being heartbroken. Crushed. We have blindly handed our hearts to Peter Laviolette (and Pekka Rinne if we are being honest here) with our utmost trust and faith. And this is what makes Nashville so awesome because being this vulnerable is the bravest and most courageous thing we could do as fans. We join the jam-packed crowds at the watch party, fill the Bridgestone Arena with our deafening screams, and rep our gold and navy to work without any guarantees. We know the potential emotional risk is worth the potential reward. Nashville appears to be far from anxious, in fact, I would say we are proud and feel safe knowing Laviolette (again, mainly Pekka Rinne) are guarding our hearts. 

Smashville not only thinks the Predators can win the Stanley Cup, we believe the Predators will win the Stanley Cup. Now keep this thought in mind- “the Predators will win.”

Thoughts –> Emotions –> Behaviors

As a therapist, I believe our thoughts influence our emotions which influence our behaviors. This chain of influence is cyclical in the sense that our behaviors can then reinforce or diminish the power of a thought.  For example, if anyone has the thought, “the number of bachelorette parties in Nashville is annoying,” then they will likely feel annoyed when they see a pack of women downtown wearing tiaras and other types of costume jewelry people do not typically wear in public…. or ever. This annoyance can influence an individual in multiple ways, but let’s just say they choose to tell the bachelorette party they are, according to this individual’s perspective, very annoying. More than likely, the original thought “the number of bachelorette parties in Nashville is annoying” will ultimately be reinforced after this exchange.

Now back to hockey. There are 50,000+ people who believe the thought I mentioned earlier- “the Predators will win.” I am going to assume this thought makes Nashvillians feel excited, eager, and proud (since I myself am feeling this way, too). These emotions will, and already have motivated us to cheer with our full hearts and cling wrap catfish to our bellies.  Our behaviors have not only reinforced our own thoughts but are also influencing the Pred’s, the state of Tennessee’s, the NHL announcers’ and even Canada’s. Everyone is starting to think we are bringing the cup home.

So maybe spectators do have the power to influence the outcome after all.

Let’s. Go. Preds.

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Laura Little, NCC

Laura is a therapist with Southeast Psych Nashville and helps emerging adults live healthy and successful lives.

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