Coaches say it all the time: control what you can control.
However, that typically doesn’t sit well with most athletes. Most athletes want every aspect of the game in their hand, to be in control.
Therefore, some athletes develop specific actions or routines performed to make sure nothing goes wrong come gameday. These rituals are commonly referred to as superstitions, which are widely held but unjustified beliefs in supernatural causation leading to inevitable consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief.
“A weird one I’ve seen is that one of my old basketball teammates would eat a Snickers before every single game,” Ferris men’s basketball junior center Cole Walker said.
Nobody knows precisely how these practices started, but they have at times developed to crazy lengths that leave some people in disbelief. In fact, even some people here at Ferris take their own superstitions very seriously.
One of those people is sophomore Kodi Ramirez, a middle infielder on the softball team.
“I’ve been doing this for a while, but I actually meditate before every game,” Ramirez said. “It’s kind of like a mind thing, you know, to get myself in the game. It’s like thinking about what am I going to do if this pitch is thrown or if the ball is hit to me this way and stuff like that.” Meditation is indeed not the most common superstition out there, but it seems like superstitions certainly are all about the mind.
Cory Carr, a junior offensive lineman for the football team, is a true believer in this theory. Carr’s superstitions are very specific. He drinks one full gallon of water the night before each and every game, and he listens to the same music before every game.
“I don’t really know why I do it,” Carr said. “It’s just the thought that it’s what I do every time. If something little gets changed, then your mind and body won’t work together and match up on the same page. If something is wrong with your mind, then your body won’t perform.”
Superstitions are meant to allow players to have positive vibes going into the game, with the hope they lead to positive results. However, even the wackiest of superstitions aren’t foolproof.
The real question that comes up is what to do with these superstitions if they fail you in big moments. “In high school, I used to drink a certain drink,” Ramirez said. “It was like a pre-workout, and it would give me way too much energy. I did it every game, and it worked great. Then we lost in states, and I was like nah, I’m not going to do that anymore, never again.”
When you’re winning, superstitions are not only fun and quirky, but they are something some people take very seriously in terms of how often they lead to success. It is safe to say they will always be a part of sports.