Superstitions of Vista Athletes

Destiny Carr, Staff Writer

From Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears eating two chocolate chip cookies before each game to Steve Kline of the San Francisco Giants never washing his hat, many athletes around the world rely on superstition to help them play well during games. But famous athletes aren’t the only ones with superstitions. Many Vista del Lago High School athletes participate in pre-game rituals of their own.

Varsity football player Nick Ellis is among the many Vista athletes with superstitions. “I wear this one pair of socks that I’ve been wearing since freshman year,” said Ellis. “I wear them during every game.” The senior athlete has only gone one game without the socks. “One time I didn’t wear the socks and I got blindsided,” said Ellis. “I wasn’t paying attention and I got hit super hard.”

Along with the socks, Ellis wears the same shirt during every game. “I wore it during one game and I did really good during that game so I decided to wear it every game after that,” said Ellis.

Daniel Howell, a senior cross-country and track runner for Vista, has a superstition of his own. “Every cross country race I have worn the same pair of XCStats sponsored socks,” said Howell. The socks were sent to the team from the company XCStats, and Howell has worn them during every race since then. “I believe that it puts me in a more positive mindset,” said Howell. “A positive mindset helps me to perform well.”

What would happen if athletes ignore the superstitions? “I feel like if I didn’t do it it would psych me out and cause me to perform worse,” said Howell. This superstition is well-known among athletes at Vista as well as all over the world. “It is a very common thing among running in general because running is largely a mental sport.” said Howell. “After you’ve done all your training, the only thing left to do is put yourself in a positive mindset.”

Senior Ryan Bernal has spent the last nine years playing football, but he has had a lingering superstition during his last two seasons. “My superstition is that if our entire varsity team doesn’t go to Wendy’s to get Frosties the night before any given game, then we won’t win,” said Bernal.

“The three games we lost last year and the four we lost this year, our entire team didn’t get frosties the night before,” said Bernal. Whether the Frosties are actually make a difference or it is just a strange coincidence, spending time with one another seems to be the team’s ultimate goal. “I believe that just spending time with my brothers the night before a game helps us connect, brings us closer, and prepares us for the trial to come.” said Bernal.

Though superstitions have never been scientifically proven to improve someone’s performance, athletes perform pregame routines for a number of reasons. Often times, especially in sports, people use superstition to cope with anxiety. Not knowing the outcome of situations can make people feel anxious, and superstitions give people a sense of a little control. Superstitions also serve as a confidence booster for many people. If an athlete believes superstitions help them to perform better, they will ultimately perform better.