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Superstitious habits help athletes prep for game day

March 26, 2013 Sports No Comments

By Noelle Kirkman

On every football Friday, senior James DiGiovanni, football player, has to eat exactly three bananas before a game.  Kaitlyn Daley, a senior gymnast, always has to fold her warm-up pants when she takes them off for an event, and tightens and retightens her wrist guards before vault.  And senior Allison Trezona, Cross Country and Track runner, drinks fish eggs before she races. What do these three seniors have in common? They all practice superstitions before they compete.

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, a superstition is the belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, or trust in magic or chance.  But according to these 3 athletes, their superstitions are a form of comfort which allows them to forget their worries and focus on their game, event, or race.

“It’s honestly probably all in your mind. If I didn’t do it, my mind wouldn’t be as easy. I’d probably panic about more stuff. If I do the same thing every week, I just feel that I have nothing else to think about other than the game,” said DiGiovanni.

A game day for DiGiovanni revolves around his superstitions. He wears the same game socks until NNHS loses a game, then switches to a new pair of game socks. He also has to be in the exact same location for pretty much everything he does before and after the game.  This includes filling up his water bottle at the same fountain, and sitting in the same corner to listen to music and stretch. After the game he always showers in the same shower with the same amount of towels, and sits at the same spot in Braconi’s pizzeria.

Trezona is not quite as superstitious as DiGiovanni, but she still has interesting habits before a meet. Every year she has to eat the same thing before every race, but the twist is that she changes food every season. She has gone from eating power bars, to drinking coconut juice, to her most recent drink: fish eggs.

“People think it’s weird. I don’t know why,” said Trezona.

No matter how unusual a superstition is, Daley believes that superstitions reveal a lot about a person.

“I always think it is neat hearing about other people because it’s unique to them. It’s something to put their mind on and is a way to express themselves,” said Daley.

These three athletes do not believe that if they fail to carry out any of their superstitions that their performance will be bad.  But instead, they rely on the superstitions to put them at ease and give them confidence before their sporting event.

Trezona believes that superstitions help athletes to get into a good mindset before their sporting event.

“It helps you mentally prepare if you do the same thing over and over and over again,” said Trezona. “It just helps you get into that race mindset and that race mode.”

Superstitions might seem strange to an outsider, but for these athletes it is helping them mentally to do their best.

“It’s only weird if it doesn’t work,” said DiGiovanni.

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