The Student News Site of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

The Talon

  • March 5CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GC FIELD HOCKEY TEAM! They have made us proud with a historically high number of wins and are the most decorated team in the history of the GC Field Hockey program.
The Student News Site of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

The Talon

The Student News Site of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

The Talon

Sports Superstitions + Pregame Rituals of GC Athletes

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Amy Reed on Unsplash
For some, belief in superstitions are a part of everyday life. That is even more true when it comes to sports and athletes.

All around the world, athletes have many different superstitions that they believe enhance their ability to win. Whether it be a particular song, a pre-game meal, or a minor adjustment to their uniform, many athletes equate their strong game performance, or lack thereof, to their pre-game rituals. Let’s look at some of our very own athletes around GC who have their own pre-game rituals and superstitions. 

Baseball and Softball

Softball has traditions and superstitions going back decades around the world. One of these traditions is a “walk-up song,” which puts players in the right mindset before their at-bat.  At GC, softball Captain Katie Popera ’24 says her walk-up song, “Long Haired Country Boy” by Cody Johnson, always stays the same.   Additionally, Popera says that sometimes the team doesn’t wash their slide shorts or socks if they are coming off an insane game, and she even goes as far as to believe the way she pads up impacts her game.  “I put my brace on, left cleat, then right cleat- every time,” she added.

Lily Laryea ’24, a member of the 2023 WCAC champion girl’s soccer team, says that it is essential that she can’t wear her cleats on concrete, or otherwise, “she’ll play badly.”  Similarly, baseball pitcher Jake Plainte ’24 says he always wears the same shorts underneath his baseball pants for every game. Additionally, he keeps his goals for the season in the brim of his hat for the whole season.

 

Track and Field

Running track is one of the most competitive sports in high school. A lot goes into preparation, including eating the right food, getting enough rest, and wearing the right clothes.   Captain Mathias Tode ’24 defies preparation norms when it comes to food. “Before any track meet, I have to have a Steak, Egg, and Cheese sandwich from McDonald’s,” he said.   Tode also mentioned that he doesn’t wear socks with his spikes before he races.

 

Soccer

For some athletes, their pre-game ritual involves paying tribute to relatives and other family members who have passed away.   Soccer player Felipe Una, ’26, says he always steps on the field with his right foot first and does the sign of the cross. He then caps his routine by kissing the wrist tape with his grandma’s name.  

 

Wrestling

Right before his wrestling matches, Yiannis Rosenthal ’25 focuses on his family and friends. “I always pray before every meet for myself, my team, and my opponents,” he said. Rosenthal also gives tribute to his late dog, stating, “I also pat the left side of my back before stepping on the mat in honor of my dog that passed away last May.”

 

Girls Lacrosse

It is commonly known around GC that one of our best and most successful teams is our girl’s lacrosse team. How do superstitions and pre-game rituals impact them?   Bella Jagtiani, ’24, says, “Always wear your hair the same way in every game and make sure you eat the same breakfast to get your game day started.” Now, what happens if you don’t follow these rules? “It sets you up for failure because you have a negative mindset already- 1000000%,” Jagtiani responded. “Look good, feel good, play good.” 

But not everyone believes in superstitions, like fellow lacrosse player Hannah Rudolph ’24. “I don’t believe in superstitions because I think they create a mental block,” she said.  “Then if you don’t do your superstition and don’t play well in your game, you’re able to blame it on that.” While most believe superstitions heavily influence performance, Rudolph’s approach works well for her. She is committed to playing Division 1 lacrosse at Northwestern University, which has one of the best programs in the country!

 

Field Hockey

Meanwhile, the GC field hockey team emphasizes the importance of togetherness, which plays a big part in their superstitions and rituals. Captain Charley Noah, ’24, says that the field hockey team has to walk out of the school and to the field without splitting any poles. “We would also jump over a stick at the beginning of our warmup lap as a symbol of starting fresh,” Noah added.

Charley’s lucky 777 bracelet, which she wears before every game. She considers this to be very lucky because the number 777 is both her and her mom’s favorite number.
(Image courtesy of Charley N.)

Charley also emphasizes the importance of remembering God before the game. “I would read a Bible verse before every game, and I wrote a verse on my wrist tape for playoffs and championship,” she said. “Every game day, I would send a screenshot of the daily Bible verse to our team group chat.”   Additionally, Charley also has a 777 necklace, which she considers to be a lucky charm.  “I have worn it for almost 2 years, and I have only taken it off a couple times!” she said.  But there’s another reason why this necklace is so special- the number 777 is her mom’s favorite number. Charley considers her mom to be the strongest person she knows. She said that if her mom had a different favorite number, that number would be her favorite, too.

These are just a few of the pre-game rituals and sports superstitions in our GC community. Most think these are examples of the placebo effect, a reaction in your brain when it believes something is making a difference even though it does not influence reality. Despite this, superstitions and pre-game rituals can be a real factor in good performance, a prepared mindset, and believing luck is on your side.