The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School

The Marshfield Times

Athletes tend to be superstitious

Many student athletes view their pregame rituals or superstitions with extreme importance.
According to sports medicine expert Elizabeth Quinn, a ritual is a certain behavior or action that an athlete performs with the belief that these behaviors have a specific purpose, or power, to influence their performance.

A superstition or pregame ritual acts much like a placebo. A placebo is a substance having no medical effect but given merely to satisfy a patient, much like pregame rituals and superstitions affect the athlete psychologically, but not biologically.

Some athletes’ pregame rituals are precise. Junior Hailee Woolsey said she has to spit her gum out in the exact same spot before every home volleyball game.

“My very first home varsity game ever was my sophomore year. I was chewing a piece of blue 5 gum and I spit it out right before the game and played great,” Woolsey said.

Woolsey said the few times she did not chew the gum, or when she spit it out at the wrong time, she did not play well.

“There was one time when I spit my gum out too late and I did not play well at all,” Woolsey said.

Superstitions or pregame rituals do not necessarily give an athlete more luck, per say, but it gives the athlete a sense of comfort and prepares them for their event.

Junior Carli Clarkson developed a superstition after buying a secret sister present and playing a great game during volleyball season.

“I bought a king sized Kit Kat for a secret sister present and left it in my truck and played the best game in my life,” said Clarkson. “So I thought, maybe I’ll play great if I do it again.”

According to Clarkson, she still does this before every game and still has not eaten her pregame Kit Kats.

Senior Tyler Campbell, a wrestler and baseball player, has multiple superstitions, most of which include articles of clothing.

“I always put my left shoe on first and tie my laces around my shoes. I also wear the same compression shorts and socks at every meet. I wash them in between of course,” Campbell said.

Campbell said he had lost four straight matches in a row and has won almost 40 straight matches in a row after buying his lucky socks.

“I also have a lucky pair of sliding shorts for baseball, and I wear Under Armour every game no matter how hot it is,” Campbell said.

Campbell also said he writes something special on the mound every time before he pitches.

“When I pitch I always write my sister’s initials behind the mound; it’s just something I’ve always done,” Campbell said.

Teammate Andrew Sharp also partakes in this ritual. Campbell and Sharp also have a special handshake they like to perform before every game.

“When I first step on the field, I go out behind second base and I’ll write my mom’s and dad’s initials and then put a heart around it,” Sharp said.

Sharp said he also puts his mother’s initials and her favorite number on the mound every inning before he pitches.

“I was pitching really well against Douglas, and then one inning I forgot to write my mom’s name and favorite number on the mound,” Sharp said. “That was the worst inning I had pitching.”

According to Sharp, it helps him keep his mind clear.

“Every time I go up to pitch it’s what I think so I remember to put my mom’s name on the mound,” Sharp said.


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Athletes tend to be superstitious