From the simple to the strange, all athletes have their own unique pre-game rituals.
Superstitions are a weird concept, and to an onlooker, they just seem simply bizarre. Most of the time, superstitions are not planned, it only takes one game at the start of the season or coming back after an injury to find your lucky charm or superstition. Once you make yourself aware of your so-called pre-game ritual, it becomes very hard to change it. Personally, I think the best way to describe why athletes have superstitions is to think of it as a morning routine. If one day you are in a rush to get to work or university, and you run out the door without following your usual routine, it throws you off for the rest of the day. This is similar with players before a game, if they alter their routine, it throws them off and puts them in the wrong mindset. So, I guess in that sense, superstitions are justified and offer structure to athletes.
For me, my biggest superstition is my lucky socks. In all fairness, they don’t look lucky, as they are a sickly neon orange colour with a contrast of black and a weird pattern crawling up behind my ankle. Despite their old and raggedy shape, I will not wear any other pair of socks to a game. This pair of socks has been with me since I started playing basketball. From what I can recall, I wore them to one of the very first basketball games I ever played in. During that match, I remember being fouled and it was the first-ever time I had to make free throws. Despite questionable shooting skills, I somehow made both. So, I think from then on, it just became my “thing” to wear my blindingly ugly orange socks. When getting ready for a match, I always must put on my lucky socks on my left foot first, then my right. Left shoe, right shoe. Funnily enough, I wasn’t aware this was a superstition until my teammate pointed it out, and ever since then I always put my socks and shoes on my left foot first.
Everyone’s superstitions are different, it is just one of those things you stumble upon and then choose to stick with it. I must admit, although they sound strange and eerie, it’s too late to change them now.
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