by Kat Frazier
Have you ever seen the final rounds of a golf tournament and wondered why Tiger Woods always wears a red shirt? Or questioned why Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps walks to the block, takes off his headphones, swings his arms three times, and then steps on the block before every race? One word: superstition.
Woods and Phelps are among a throng of professional athletes with superstitions. Many hear about the professionals’ superstitions, especially since the Olympics were this year, but have you ever wondered if any of the Bryan athletes have superstitions? Believe it or not, some do.
Sophomore basketball player Rachel Meredith always has to dribble the ball four times before shooting a free throw.
Freshman golfer Erryn Brewer doesn’t let people touch her clubs after she warms up and only changes the ball after a bad hole.
Freshman volleyball player Kelsea Knudson feels like she plays better when she wear a certain pair of socks. She always washes them before a home game.
Junior volleyball player Corrie Walker always wears the same headband, does the same handshake with other players before each game, and puts a Jedi braid in her hair for every home game.
Freshman cross country runner Sarah White has to have her hair back in a ponytail, and before getting set for a race she always checks to make sure her hair is back and tight.
Baseball, in general, has a plethora of superstitions the whole team follows. Some of these include not stepping on the white line, never talking about a no-hitter, not washing your uniform after a win, and having the same warm-up routine. Freshman Kyler Hagler says he always has to wear two pair of socks, while fellow freshman Easton Arterburn always sings while warming up.
What we call superstition some members of the men’s soccer team call routine. Freshman midfielder Alan da Costa starts the game with his right foot, senior midfielder Johannes Müller shaves before every game and listens to the same German rap song before playing, and senior defender Richard Kirk always waits until the last minute to change out of his travel jersey.
Today’s athletes are not the only ones who have superstitions. Cross country coach Bryson Harper says as an athlete in both high school and college his shoes had to be tied a certain way with the laces tucked under, he said a prayer before a race then punched the ground, and always had to have oatmeal with peanut butter and honey for breakfast on a race day.
Before you think that these athletes, and others, are crazy for having superstitions, sport psychologists, like Andrew Lane from Britain’s Wolverhampton University, say that these routines or superstitions help relieve stress the athlete might have before competing and keep them level-headed. So, for athletes, superstition could be a good thing.