In an article, published on the Psychology Today website (2018 JUN 28) an emotional phenomenon referred to as "momentum" is discussed.
In any situation in life where there are tests of performance which follow in sequence, often quite quickly, momentum may be at play. This can be observed in stock markets, political campaigns – and in sports.
For example, perhaps failing or passing one exam can create the emotional context whereby future passes or failures, shortly afterward, are affected.
In many sporting competitions worldwide, the tournament structure means it is sometimes in a team's interest to lose a particular match in order to gain an advantage later in the contest (based on who they play next). Some behavioral scientists might argue that success is more likely to be followed by further success, so that stalling a string of wins, even for tactical reasons, is hazardous psychologically and could lead to more losses later. The psychological momentum theory argues for continuing to win, even if this puts the team at a strategic disadvantage later in the tournament.
One particularly intriguing finding is that psychological momentum appears to have a significant effect for male but not for female athletes (!).