Pre-Game Rituals Have Intertwined Themselves into Sports

Sydney Fitzpatrick, Staff Reporter

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As many sports players know, there are certain things that they should NEVER do before a game, which could change the outcome of the game before it even starts.  While a belief in superstitions may seem silly to some, athletes have a tremendous amount of determination to do well. Through this love for the game they play, and the desire to be successful, they often create or follow pre-game rituals to help them and their teammates get ready to play and unite together as one team. These rituals often boost their pride and determination to help them perform their best.

One popular way athletes prepare for a game is by listening to music, which has been proven to influence many individuals in a variety of ways.  Junior football player Colton Combs noted, “Before we run out of the [inflatable] helmet, we say a prayer, but other than that, it’s mainly just listening to music. It usually gets your mind right and your body pumped up, and it puts you in a good mood.”  

Relying on music before a game isn’t just something football players do. Junior Peyton Thacker, team captain of the boy’s lacrosse team, also includes music as part of his pregame ritual. “I basically just listen to music and get my team to focus and relax, and I do some dancing. That’s how I calm down. Then I just talk to the guys and get hype so it can rubs off on them.”

Other rituals involve some last minute practice before taking the field or court.  Junior Coye Bays, a pitcher for the SCHS baseball team is one that prepares with some extra practice.  “Most of the time we (the team) go down to the field after school. We get into our uniforms, and then go to the hitting building.  Most of the time, we talk about past baseball games and our opponents. Then we are ready to play.” Sometimes, there’s a change in the ritual though,  as Coye acknowledged. “Last year we warmed up in custom shirts for two of our player’s mom who had cancer really bad.” It was a way to show support for teammates that needed to know that people cared about what they were experiencing.  

These pre-game rituals might seem small, but they matter to the athletes using them. Rituals help in boosting players’ attitudes and how well they perform, along with uniting all of them together as one team.