It’s not uncommon for athletes to “lace up the gloves” long after they’ve past their prime. I’m middle-aged. But if I’m 100% honest, I think I’ve still got one last fight in me. And I truly think I could win. Gambling like an athlete means you can stay away for years, but decide you’ve got one more left in you. You attempt to relive the glory days, remembering your past wins. Research has shown that memories that are salient, or meaningful, are remembered for longer and more clearly than those that aren’t. Guess what? Wins have been found to be more salient than losses. So, if someone looks back on their gambling career, they think they did much better than they probably did. The wins stand out. The losses? Not so much. Unfortunately, like some athletes who left the safety and nostalgia of retirement, a return to gambling for some can be a spectacular fail. Athletes often have a “go big or go home” mentality. Gambling like an athlete could mean damage and destruction in just one night of play.
Published by Elizabeth Thielen
I'm a Problem and Compulsive Gambling Counselor and a former athlete. Always looking for opportunities to increase public awareness about problem gambling, I am particularly concerned about the potential impact of legalized sports wagering on athletes, a group already at increased risk for problem gambling. Though I am neutral on the subject of legal gambling, I advocate for those at risk to have access to education and other prevention tools, and for those already impacted by problem gambling to have access to treatment and support. View all posts by Elizabeth Thielen