Sports are full of superstitions, from eating a lucky snack before a game to doing the same pregame warmup to participating in simple and complex handshakes.
Different athletes believe different rituals will help them and their team be successful. Even sports fans have superstitions and will sometimes stop watching the game that their favorite team is playing because they believe their team will only do well when they don’t watch. The severity of rituals varies from pregame dancing to refusing to shave until the team is victorious. Some athletes who are more religious will pray to God in hope to receive a prayer that will help them succeed.
A common superstition of athletes is a pregame handshake in which even coaches and team managers may participate. Even though handshakes once only consisted of two members, they have evolved throughout the years and have become an event for the entire team to join in on. Handshakes are a way to build team chemistry and can also give athletes a chance to relieve themselves of any pregame jitters. Students like sophomore Garrett Koch have been supporters of the evolution of handshakes and believe that the more members in on the handshake, the better it is. “They are a great way for the entire team to bond and grow closer as a group, which ultimately helps us play better,” Koch said.
Another popular superstition of athletes is the need to keep the exact same pregame routine after being successful after performing that routine. These routines can either be short rituals or rituals of a substantial length. It is debated whether athletes actually perform better or not because of this superstition but pregame rituals help give athletes hope that they will succeed if they perform these rituals correctly.
A lot of student athletes have quick and precise pregame routines but others like sophomore Jessica Trzeciak have long and complicated routines. “Before each cross country meet I perform the Scottish folk dance with my teammates and then listen to various songs from ‘The Nutcracker,’ and that is only the beginning of my routine,” Trzeciak said.
Another belief to enhance the performance of athletes is to have a lucky food to consume before every competition, game or meet. Some athletes will eat only a small snack like a granola bar while others may believe that consuming an entire burrito will give them good luck.
Even though it is proven that eating a burrito or something large will give an athlete an increased chance to feel ill versus eating something less significant, athletes will still have their pregame snack no matter the size. Students like sophomore football player Jack Berman will ensure to get their pregame snack in before every game. “Eating a reuben or three before every game makes me feel complete and I am not complete without my reubens,” Berman said.