Pre-Match Superstitions

   By: Drew K., Kyle P., and Lindy V.

     You may think that preparing for a sporting event is as simple as strapping on your equipment and pulling the jersey over your head, but in fact pre-game preparation is a highly personal matter. Each player has his or her own specific routine and superstitions. These routines range from Miley Cyrus to shoelace lengths to the foods they eat. We asked a few of our own athletes what they do to prepare for each game.

     At LCDS, we offer a variety of sports. A couple of them are soccer, lacrosse, tennis, golf, swimming, field hockey and ice hockey. Across these sports there are some common routines to prepare for a match. The basic ones are stretching, listening to music and visualizing the match. David M. says that before each swim meet, he listens to “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. Alex V. on the girls soccer team listens to “Sandman”by Metallica during her pre-game routine. Miley Cyrus’ popular song “Party in the USA” is the chosen warm up song for tennis star Blaise C.. Blaise states that, “That song tops off my routine. When it ends, I’m ready to play and end the match with a win.”

     Yet, in even these basic routines, when players add their own style to them, they become wildly different. Girls Varsity soccer captain Molly V. says that she “goes down to the ice machine and puts 37 ice cubes in her green water bottle.” Then she heads to Fantazzi’s room to get a band-aid for her toe and to complain about her day. After relieving her stress she heads to the fields. “Once I arrive at the field,” she says “I have to put my cleats on. I make sure to put my cleats on right-left and tie them left-right.” She then finds the perfect patch of grass to pass with her co- captain Anna W.. While passing, Anna complains about her choice of headband and whether she is “feeling it that day.”

     Molly and Anna are not the only ones with long and detailed warm- ups. David I., freshman basketball player says, “I have to take a shower before each game so I feel fresh and pumped. Then I get dressed and
tie my shoes. My shoelaces must be the same length or else I will feel off balanced and miss my shots.” Another varsity basketball player, Sean M., says that he smashes his head into the wall to get pumped up. Then, “I high five all my teammates. Then I break something” he says, “usually something manly and do ten push ups.” And if he skips the pre- game routine? Well, he’s certain he’ll “play bad.”

     While asking athletes about their warm-ups, we were told to talk to Caroline K., who is known by her teammates for having a crazy pre- game routine. When we talked to the junior lacrosse player, she said, “During warm-ups I do my sumo- stretches and chew ice. I have to wrap my pony tail in pre-wrap and right before the starting face-off, I crack my neck.” We talked to many other athletes and each one told us how unless they followed their routines they would not play well. Students are not the only ones who have pre-game routines. We asked middle school soccer coach Sam Schindler about his warm-up. He laughed and said that, “We go into a sweat lodge and have visions of victory. Then I try to insult 7th grader Luke M. as much as possible in order to get him angry. This way he will take it out on the field and play better.”

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