Friday, September 18, 2009

Pre-Game Rituals

Superstitions are a huge part of sports. Not just college sports, but professional sports, high school sports, little league. You name it, athletes build superstitions. What an athlete does before a game is a lot of personal preference, along with some input from the coaching staff. It could be something as little as listening to your ipod on the way to competition to something as major as wearing the same socks every game. Each individual is different, but I can guarantee you that all athletes have some pre-game rituals.

After talking to some of my fellow athletes, I came up with a list of common, along with some unusual superstitions that we use.

- A football player listens to the same playlist on his ipod before every game.
- A cross country runner wears the same sports bra for every race.
- A soccer player always ties his right cleat first on game day.
- A volleyball player always wears a pink hair-tie.
- A softball player has to eat Cheerios for breakfast on days of competition.
- A football player has to have steak the night before a game. And a Snickers on game day.
- A baseball player has to take 50 practice swings before the first pitch.

Some of these things may seem like silly ideas, but it gives the athlete confidence and makes them feel more comfortable before competition. These techniques are used to relax the athlete, and take their mind off the big game for a little bit. These rituals don't necessarily mean that the athlete is going to go out and have the game of their lives, they are just little things that can be done to ease the mind.
Every coach I have ever had has talked about how important it is to get into a routine. It is especially important on game days, and breaking the routine can throw off your whole day.

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