What Pre-Game Rituals Mean to Athletes

Athletes have many pre-game rituals and superstitions that are very important to their routine. These athletes tell us why they are important to them.


Grace Ellis

Ben Houselog looks at the sideline during the CCA game

An athlete’s pre-game ritual is sacred to them; it is apart of them.  There are many iconic pre-game rituals, such as LeBron James’s powder toss and Ray Lewis’s pre-game dance.

As an athlete, game days are the most important days of the week. Every game day you go through a routine. Athletes like to keep that routine the same, and make it a habit. Some athletes face a mental block if they don’t do their routines. They feel as if it’s part of them and they have to do it before every game. If they don’t, they feel incomplete, and it can result in the athletes not playing the way they want to.

“I’d put all my gear on in the exact same order every game starting with my socks. Then, before I play, I’ll crack every finger. If I don’t do that, it doesn’t feel right, and I get in my head,” said Ben Houselog, senior.

Jack Funke steps up to bat durning the JV game at Solon

Away games can sometimes mess with an athletes’ routine because bus rides to games may take hours. Some athletes don’t like away games because it can tamper with the athletes’ routine. Sitting for extended periods of time can sometimes cause athletes to overthink and get inside their own heads. Other athletes hate the rides because it makes some people tired before their games.

However, some athletes enjoy away-game bus rides because of the time they get for themselves. Some athletes use this time to sleep, others listen to music.

“I enjoy bus rides. I enjoy listening to my music and just getting in the zone and getting ready to play. Sometimes, I sleep if it is a long ride, but otherwise, I enjoy them because it gives me time before the game to listen to my music and get zoned in and ready for my game,” said Jack Funke, sophomore.

Sam McPherson gets ready to take the court during a home game

Superstitions are a part of almost every sport and many athletes have at least one superstition. Some may wear the same socks for every game, and others may eat the same meal before every game. These are just a few of the many athletic superstitions. 

Sam McPherson, senior, said, “I leave my jersey untucked throughout warmups, and then after I shake hands, I will tuck it in. I have been doing this for a long time, and I will continue to do it.”