I overheard an interesting exchange the other day.
Some friends were competing against each other in an APA city tournament. It was a pretty crucial tourney as which ever team won, would get a free trip to Vegas.
The tension was high but so was support from team members.
Evidently, one of the players (Guy A) was upset people were clapping after he missed. His team ended up losing and he was the final teammate to play. So he was probably upset they lost, so the clapping in the final match affected him any more.
After the loss, Guy A told Team B they should not be rude and cheer misses.
Team Captain B told Guy A that they were not clapping when he missed, instead, they were actually cheering for their teammate who was about to be up at the table, to show their support.
So, it went something like this:
Guy A would miss, Teammates B would clap and say out loud, "Come on Brandon, let's go! You can do this!"
However, Guy A took the clapping as them cheering for his misses.
I don't like when people clap after misses, either. It can be rude (or taken as rude). Timing is everything. More importantly, perspective is key.
When you hear clapping and cheering, try to remember that the people are only cheering FOR for your opponent and not AGAINST you. This perspective can go a long way.
Let's face it, we have all been on the underside of that embarrassment feeling that leads to anger when we feel like no one is on our side and our opponents are getting all the cheers.
But if you realize the people are not rooting against you, it's a little easier to handle.