Knock on wood: baseball players, other athletes have share of customs and superstitions

Knock on wood: baseball players, other athletes have share of customs and superstitions



Sports do not only encompass physical expenditures, but also a number of mental challenges. Athletes of any sport must be in the right mindset in order to perform to the best of their abilities. Part of getting into the right mindset may include going through certain rituals in the same order before each competition.

Many people would consider these routines to be superstitions and maybe even a little bit crazy. The fact is, almost every athlete has some sort of a routine that they go through in order to prepare for each competition.

“When it comes to sports, I find that almost every athlete is superstitious. It just makes people tick I guess,” junior basketball player Brianne Inselman said.

Most athletes have a different routine that they go through. They can range from rather simple and organizational, to random and even a little bit crazy.

“Before every game I always organize my equipment neatly and I always wear my favorite pair of sliders underneath my uniform,” senior softball player Sarah Haake said.

Many athletes’ routines have to do with consuming food. Though some foods are unhealthy, if those athletes feel as though eating strange foods help their level of play, then they should continue to eat those foods.

“I eat two bananas and drink pickle juice before every game,” senior football player Brook Pecka said.

Some things as simple as praying before a game can also help athletes to mentally prepare athletes before a game.

“I usually pray before every game for all players on the court,” senior basketball player Jordan Warner said.

While athletes of every sport partake in customs or practices, baseball is infamous for some fairly unusual rituals.

Major league player Moises Alou would pee on his own hands before games; Steve Finley carried around a bag of minerals that was said to keep bad external energy away from whomever held the bag; Richie Ashburn would take his bat to bed each night; and Max Scherzer is so superstitious that he won’t even let people know what his superstitions are.

At Bellevue West it’s no different. Players still take part in their own strange rituals and they still believe that what they do helps their games.

“When I warm up in the bull pen I always throw with my sunglasses on my hat even though we can’t wear them in the game.  Also I wore pink shoe laces last year the whole season,” senior baseball player Mitchell Savine said.

Pre-game rituals do not only pertain to sports–members of the Marching band have things that they do before each competition.

“The trumpets get into a circle and have a little pep talk, then we do a chant before each performance,” senior section leader Nick Clauson said.

Whatever the athletes do before their games, a pregame ritual can greatly affect the way an athlete performs on gameday.

“If I don’t do things the same way I feel a little off for the first part of the day,” senior wrestler Anthony Tucci said.

Sam Sobczyk