Athletes of all levels and ages seem to have a few things that they always do before games or practices.
Some are superstitions that seem vital to continuing success or snapping out of a losing streak. Some are just teamwide traditions that create a sense of community and brother or sisterhood. Others are just simple routines and habits that bring normalcy and familiarity to athletes before a big moment.
Two examples are members of the women’s soccer team and baseball team.
The Taylor women’s soccer team is 8-2, coming off what is the best start of any soccer season in recent history. The men’s baseball team is looking to continue their elite level of play in the Crossroads League, after finishing 37-20 last season, a season that included a 17-game win streak.
Sophomore soccer player Caroline Monberg has partially credited her great season to her odd-ball ideas to help her win.
“Before anything truly happens, I eat the same snack and listen to the playlist before stepping onto the field” she said.
Monberg has also talked about her superstition in the way that she does her hair.
“I wear my hair the same every game,” she said. “It’s different from practices, but come game day, I do my hair and then start to work on other girls’ hair.”
Monberg’s habitual style is much like the habitual culture of the team. Collectively, the team tries to do everything together — winning or losing, they want what’s best for each other. No person is left out.
On the other hand, the men’s baseball team is very routine-oriented, with each player doing their own thing. Junior Cole Schrock gives some information on how game rituals work.
“Every time before games, the team goes to left field and runs some formations. Most often before the game starts, I run to deep to center field, and take just a couple of breaths” Schrock said.
Schrock believes that the game of baseball relies mostly on luck.
“That’s just how baseball is,” he said. “Sometimes the teams joke about how at times where we get on a streak, we all think it’s the jerseys. Of course, some of it is mental, but it’s all fun and games.”
Schrock said that when the teams win on the road, Head Coach Kyle Gould buys ice cream for everyone.
Gould also had some input on team traditions. Like Schrock, he thinks that luck is one of the biggest contributors to the sport.
“Luck plays a huge role in baseball,” Gould said. “Since it’s uncontrollable, it’s best to focus on what you can control, but it’s an always present monster ready to reward one side or the other.”