Posted at 1 p.m. April 6, 2017

Athletes credit wins to superstitions

Co-editor and Multimedia Editor

“Superstitions provide people with the sense that they’ve done one more thing to try to ensure the outcome they are looking for.”

Stuart Vyse

Author of “Believing in Magic”

Superstitions can be a mental preparation or confidence booster some athletes use before a game. For some of those athletes, a developed or continued

superstition can depend on whether a game is won or lost, but some are just part of an athlete’s routine regardless of the win.

According to a WebMD article, “The Psychology of Superstition” by Sarah Albert, a superstition is a result of wanting more control or certainty for certain

situations, regardless of the personal preparation or performance. In the article, Stuart Vyse, PhD and author of “Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition” said, “Superstitions provide people with the sense that they’ve done one more thing to try to ensure the outcome they are looking for.”

However, not all pre-game rituals or beliefs are

Kevin Johnson, defensive player on the Laramie County Community College soccer team, listens to two songs on a loop for an hour before a game. Also, if the game is won, Johnson does not wash his uniform.

“It is gross, but it works,” Johnson said.

Michael Zuniga, LCCC’s men’s soccer team goalkeeper, has a morning routine he performs on game days. Zuniga said he wakes up the morning of a game at exactly 6:55 a.m. then stretches his muscles to loosen up and calm himself down for game day. He then takes a shower and afterwards Zuniga said he listens to motivational speeches for about 10 to 15 minutes, reciting the speeches back to

himself in the mirror.

Zuniga said he recites the speeches “just in case the team may need a good motivational speech, but mostly for myself because who doesn’t like a good

motivational speech.”

After some motivational speeches, Zuniga said he relaxes for the next two or three hours while watching Netflix or Hulu or listening to his music playlist to keep himself in a

mellow mood until game time—or until the coach starts

talking to the team in preparation for the game. Sometimes the coach will give a motivational speech during his talk, which Zuniga said he likes to listen to even though sometimes they are not as good as his. After listening to the coach, it is then just a matter of putting his gear on to finish preparing for the game, which includes putting on his Jordan sock. Zuniga has worn these socks for the past three or four seasons now. “They seem to be working considering the past success of my team,” he said.

Nikita Woods, women’s soccer team player, also has a pre-game routine she

performs. Woods’ routine starts with her putting her left sock on first, the right followed by her shoes in the same order. Woods then does a pre-game warm-up with the team. During warm-ups, some of the drills require being in a line, in which Woods has to be in the same spot throughout the warm-up. After the warm-ups Woods changes into her uniform and rest of her playing gear before heading out to the field for the competition.


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