Make It or Break It: Do superstitions affect performance? A look at some athletes’ routine rituals.

A lot of athletes have habits that they have had since their early years. Whether it’s a simple ritual that they believe enhances their performance, or a certain type of music they listen to before a game, it’s not uncommon for athletes to
have something specific they have to do before their games. Before writing this article, I never knew that the legendary Michael Jordan wore his UNC Tar Heels shorts under his NBA shorts. Or that one of the fiercest linebackers in the history of the NFL in Brian Urlacher ate two chocolate chip cookies before games. Speaking to some of Eastern’s athletes, I was enlightened to some of the routines our players have.

Pitcher for Eastern’s baseball team Riley Kiebach said that he used to play with his fly down. While all players have their distinct types of music they enjoy listening to, it was surprising when Riley said he listens to Gregorian Chants to get himself in the right mindset to go out and play.

Pitcher Michael Gray has adopted a simple routine leading up to his games since coming to college. On his way to the mound, he does a little jump over the baseline. He also has a playlist of rap music that hypes him up and gets him in the right mindset to play. As simple as his routine may sound, his high school regimen consisted of always eating a peanut butter sandwich, making two lines in the dirt, and counting the “two” times table. He would also always shake his bat the same way. “Just something that worked,” Gray said after I asked why he stuck to such a specific routine before his games. When talking to Gray, he also mentioned that he has
become less superstitious since coming to college. As he mentioned, he had an actual routine that he followed in high school but has become freer since coming to college. Now, his main concern is with actually getting out onto the mound and playing and not focusing on superstition. He has become less obsessed with the mental games and wants to just go in and do it.

Midfielder for Eastern’s Men’s Lacrosse team, Connor Gill, also shared his routine. The chapel services before his games is one thing he noted about gamedays. Showering before games has also become a habit, and he also listens to relaxing music to get himself ready for games. When you attend sports games, you’ll usually hear rap or rock music on the PA systems that create an energetic atmosphere. Gill prefers to listen to EDM music along with remixes found on SoundCloud to get
into the right mindset almost like the calm before the storm.

Getting to hear some of our athletes’ routines and habits before games was eye-opening. A lot of what was said came as a surprise, but it gives a peek into the mental preparation athletes go through so that they can go out and do what they do best.

Source: Business Insider

Image description: NBA legend, Michael Jordan, is famously superstitious for wearing his UNC Tar Heels shorts under his Chicago Bulls ones.

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