Superstition part of routines

(Illustration by ANNA KATE ALFORD, Gazebo Staff.)

By DAVID MATLOCK, Gazebo Staff Writer

The fall sports season is in full swing. As the Stratford football team takes the field, the Eagles must prepare their minds for the tough competition ahead.

Pre-game routines don’t always involve just stretching and warm-ups.

David Matlock
David Matlock

For the sake of a strong performance, many athletes have some unorthodox methods and superstitions.

Whether it’s the stereotypical re-wearing stinky game socks, or tying their shoes a special way, some feel a need to keep their odd traditions for their performance.

Stratford linebacker Josh Davis spends his time his time getting focused in his pre-game routine.

“I just like to get alone,” he said. “Before [Savannah] Country Day, I went and sat by myself under the golf pavilion for 15 minutes.”

He said the ‘tranquility of the outdoors soothes his mind.’’ It obviously helped in the Eagles’ opener. Davis and the defense shut out Savannah Country Day 24-0. The Eagles are 2-1 heading into Friday’s home game against Lincoln County.

Davis, a leader for the stout defense, is not alone when performing rituals on Friday nights.

Shawn Shivdat, a saxophone player in the band, said there is a treasured tradition of “pinkie-kissing.” Before performances, band members grab each others’ pinkie fingers and kiss into them.

“It is just a long-held tradition we just keep doing, and I think it is just a trademark of the band,’’ he said.

Aysha Roberts, a senior captain on the girl’s varsity volleyball squad, cannot function on the court without her pre-game rituals. Roberts goes farther than most to ensure a solid performance.

“I have to wear the same uniform every day before the game,’’ she said. “I have to wear my game socks to school every game day, and I have to bounce the ball twice everytime before I serve.”

Ellie Peterson, a junior on the cross country team, said she cannot run at her best unless if she follows an odd set of habits.

“I have tons of superstitions…I have to wear a headband every race, and, instead of using four pins for my tag, I only use three,” Peterson said.

Stratford student-athletes have the whole gamut of superstitions and ritual, but their odd practices are the culminating point of preparation for peak performance.

Maybe wearing the same socks every day could help you on your next big test.