by Carina Leaman, Rebekah Street and Josh Imholte
Lucky socks, elaborate handshakes, and old traditions; superstitions are rampant throughout the sports field.
Every athlete, whether they compete in swimming, football, volleyball or soccer, has experienced the call of superstitions when preparing for that ultimate game.
Every sport seems to have a superstition that is unique to that activity.
“In wrestling, we have the superstition of goodluck clothing,” junior wrestler Matthew Weeks said.
Wondering if the gym bag be hidden from the laundry room to keep last week’s luck imbedded in the sweaty uniform, or if the team really is doomed if bats cross in the dugout, is common amongst teams. There’s an allure to getting one step above the other team, even if it is a mental step.
Superstitions can give teams the extra push they need for the best final score.
“There are superstitions in sports because luck sometimes creates hope,” junior soccer
player Jonah Potts said.
Players can be very adamant about following the rules of the superstition. Senior football and baseball player Tate Fant commented that there are even traditions of which shoe to tie first when putting on cleats before a game.
Coaches aren’t immune to superstitions, either. Head of the math department and Chapin girls varsity basketball coach Chad Boland wears the same clothes from game to game.
It’s all in getting in the mindset of a victory.
“If you think you’re going to lose you’re probably going to lose because you just have that mindset,” freshman track and field runner Lamon Tagne said, “and if you think you’re going to win then you just get cocky.”
And while being anxious can keep players on their toes, too much can be detrimental. Superstitions are designed to counteract that effect.
“I think superstition is more of a reassurance to help keep nerves down,” senior and former volleyball player Ashley Davis said.
However, coaches don’t want superstitions to be a crutch.
“I hope [superstition] doesn’t affect them at all,” Coach Boland says. Giving all of the credit of a win to a pre-game ritual undermines the talent of the team.
But no matter what individual athletes believe, superstitions will always be close by whenever a championship looms in the distance.
“It’s all between the ears,” Coach Boland said. “It’s all what you did the last time hopefully you can repeat the performance.”