There are several factors that determine whether our favorite sports teams win or lose, but we all feel like we can control the outcome by performing our own game day witchcraft.
Those game day rituals are also known as superstitions. CSUN athletes and sports fans practice pregame rituals in order to help their team win games.
Sports are full of superstitions, particularly with athletes who perform a specific routine before every game and carry certain items that they believe are lucky.
For many athletes these superstitions serve as a psychological placebo that helps them calm their nerves which arise from an uncertainty of the future.
CSUN soccer players Jeremy Degraffenreidt and Stuart Close shared their personal pregame rituals to prepare for a soccer match.
“I always warm up on the same line,” said Degraffenreidt. “I always drink three water bottles, and always put on my right sock before my left and my left cleat before my right.”
“I say the Lord’s Prayer and the Husker prayer,” said Close. “Then I recite the first verse of my National Anthem during the American National Anthem. When I step on the field, I do the sign of the crucifix (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) then kiss the top of my wrist twice for my mum and dad, then kiss the bottom of my wrist twice for my brother and sister.”
Sports fans also practice their own superstitions that they believe will have a direct influence in helping their favorite team win.
Although many do not believe in the magic of superstitions, many people have adapted them to become a part of their lifestyle.
“I sleep in my Atlanta Falcons jersey the night before every game,” said CSUN student Malcolm Bowman. “It does not just make me feel a part of the team, but that I’m making a contribution by sending them spiritual support.”
Superstitions can range from what you wear to what you do during the day.
“During the NBA playoffs, when the Cleveland Cavaliers are playing, I don’t post anything on my social media accounts until the game is over,” said CSUN student Everett Fuller-Bunyon. “I was inspired by LeBron James to do that, I’m a big fan of his. He doesn’t post anything on social media throughout the entirety of the NBA playoffs.”
Superstitions can act as a confidence booster to help the performance of their team or even themselves.
Next time a big game is on television, look around and observe what people are doing or wearing, it may have a bigger impact on them then you think.