“Superstitious behavior is something that can be found almost everywhere. But one place superstitious behavior is prominent is in the world of sports,” said Brent Luken, author of “Very Superstitious.”
Many athletes in all sports are superstitious when it comes to doing their absolute best at their game, match, meet or competition. These athletes tend to either stick to the same routine/warm up they do prior to their performance or wear a specific thing each time in fear of changing it would cause bad luck.
Junior Jada Folden has certain superstitions with the sports she participates in. She plays volleyball in the fall and softball in the spring for Lebanon High School.
“For volleyball I always braid my teammates’ hair before every game and I always have to wear a bow and have my hair up for softball,” said Folden.
Junior Cayleigh Dial is a part of LHS’ swim team and does the same routine every time before she swims. She also wears a specific cap at every meet, this cap is considered lucky to her.
Sophomore Garrett Harker plays football, basketball, and baseball at LHS. He is very superstitious when it comes to gamedays. For example, he wears the same underwear, undershirts and socks to every game but still washes them.
“Before I hit I always draw ‘GS’ and ‘GR’ with my finger for my grandma Sharon and grandma Rosie that passed away. I also hit my bat against both feet exactly twice, tap the plate once and sway my bat forward twice. Whenever I pitch, I also draw ‘GS’ and ‘GR’ as well with my finger, throw four pitches to warm up, always pick up the ball with my mitt and grab the ball every inning,” said Harker.
Junior Michael Reese plays football, basketball, and baseball for LHS. Before every game he participates in, he carbs up to have energy during the game and listens to music to get focused.
Kerenah Lamb is a junior at LHS and plays girls’ basketball. Lamb has played basketball since she was five years on and plans on playing her senior year at LHS.
“I always wear the same pair of black and gold Nike shorts every time I play at a game,” said Lamb.
Ashlyn Terrill is a sophomore at LHS and also has superstitions with girls’ basketball. Terrill listens to the song “We Ready” before each game and drinks up to two Gatorades.
Junior Macey Kenna plans on cheering for LHS next year and currently takes tumbling lessons with a private coach.
“I always have to tighten my ponytail before each backhandspring or else the backhandspring will not be good,” said Kenna.
Not just high schoolers, but even older and more advanced athletes have superstitions as well.
“Pistol” Pete Maravich was a professional basketball player in the NBA after graduating from Louisiana State. Maravich always wore the same pair of gray wool socks to every game in both his professional and college career.
In 2002, Eric Gagne set a new record for the most consecutive saves playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, a professional baseball team. Ever since setting this record, Gagne has worn the same hat in every baseball game.
Retired NASCAR driver, Danica Patrick went against all superstitions held by the Indy 500. These superstitions include driving a green car and having the number 13 as her number.
“If you do not believe them, then they are not real. So what better number than 13, and what better color than green?” said Patrick.
Other racecar drivers have also found success in green cars. These drivers include Harry Grant (Skoal Brandit) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (AMP Energy). On the other side, multiple drivers with the number 13 were not so lucky. E.J Viso and Greg Ray both finished races poorly due to either mechanical issues or being in an accident.
Athletes are always expected to be at their best every time they are in a game, match, meet or competition. This leads to many different superstitions seen in lots of athletes today. These athletes see their superstitions as luck and as support so they can be their absolute best.