Not crossing a black cat or making sure not to open an umbrella indoors are superstitions that are held by the average person, but the average person is not the only one that have them.
Tiger Woods always wears a red shirt in the final round of golf tournaments. Michael Phelps swings his arms three times before a race.
Rituals and superstitions that athletes hold in regards to their respective sports are nothing out of the ordinary and are not only relegated to higher-level athletes.
“We decided home is white now cause we won the first game in white polos,” said the Hawks’ assistant volleyball coach Kira Rand. “We’ll see how the rest of the season goes.”
Rand considers herself to not be very superstitious outside of things like the color the team wears. The team’s head coach Natalie Wells is a different story though.
“I always sit in the second chair,” Wells said. “There always has to be a space between me and the next person.”
Wells might always take that second chair, but her notebook always gets the second, a notebook that gets marked with the same pen each time.
After the team won their last game Wells said that she did the same rituals the next day even down to making sure her outfit and hair were the same as they were the day before.
“I’m okay with changing things,” Wells said. “I might stick with a lineup because it was working but if it stops working I’m okay changing.”
The small things seemed to be what came up with various members of the team. Things like wearing the same headband every time or just serving the ball the same way each and every time to avoid making a mistake.
The men’s soccer team had various rituals and superstitions among the players.
“I have to eat spaghetti the night before the game,” said sophomore midfielder Joel Torres.
While such a thing may seem strange to others, these superstitions help put the athlete in the mindset for success.
“I touch the field a lot and do the cross,” said freshman forward Eduardo Ramirez. “I pray to the gods and angels. Just so we don’t get hurt.”
Pre-game prayers were something quite common between both teams. freshman defender Andres Carillo spoke of praying before each game to bless himself, the field and his teammates.
Some are even tied together with a player’s position.
“I force myself to be the first person on the bus and the last off the bus,” said freshman goalkeeper Robert Peckham. “Cause I’m the goalkeeper and sort of the last line of defense.”
In an activity with high gains and heavy losses like sports, it’s not surprising for athletes to grab onto something that seems to be working for their desired outcome.
Superstitions and rituals are their way of working through the stress and trying to control the outcome of the game.