Game day superstitions

Many athletes believe they are not able to show their fullest potential during a game or competition without performing their superstition.


Lauren Deguzman

Freshman Jack Bacar listening to music before game time.

There is nothing like the excitement of Friday night lights and showing your school spirit.

At Antioch Community High School, Friday nights are more than just a football game; they are a culture and tradition. Many alumni come to watch the football games to show their never-ending pride, and there is nothing more nerve-wracking yet exciting than knowing that the team is playing in front of hundreds of fans which include their friends, classmates and even their family. The pressure is on, and it is time to play some football. 

For many, it may just be a regular football game, but to the players, they are playing for a grade and to prove themselves as an athlete. Many athletes may perform rituals or have superstitions they must do before a big game or competition. 

“I say a prayer to myself,” senior Quade Moll said. “I pray for my team’s well being and their safety, to do the best we can.”

An athlete may suffer from a negative mindset that may affect the way they play or perform, like freshman Morgan Schneider, cheerleader, soccer player and water skier. Schneider has many different superstitions she must perform before each sport. 

“For cheer before [my team] competes, I usually tie my shoes a minute before we perform,” Schneider said. “For soccer I have to pull my sock up before I walk onto the field.” 

According to Why so Many Athletes Have Superstitions and Rituals, Elizabeth Quinn talks about how superstition arises when an athlete has a good or bad performance. They can often try to establish a cause and effect by retracting the events of their day. For example, what athletes are eating or what they wear. 

“A ritual is a certain behavior or action that an athlete performs with the belief that these behaviors have a specific purpose or power [that] influences their performance,” Quinn said.

Although rituals and superstitions range from how athletes warm up, the music they may listen to, or how they prepare with their teammates, each athlete and team may have a unique way of being prepared. Once athletes find their superstition, it is difficult to perform or play without it.