Pre-game rituals

Charlotte Stephan

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Here at FHC, many athletes have taken the time to perfect their pre-game routines. Whether that is eating a certain food, listening to a certain song, or spending time with their team, they stay consistent throughout their seasons and never fail to meet their own expectations.

Unlike many athletes, senior Sam Ardinger began his football career this year, leaving him little time to create his own individualized pre-game routine. Although he doesn’t have his own rituals, he enjoys spending time with the rest of his team and makes that a priority before every game.

“We have a game day rap playlist that we listen to in the locker room while getting dressed,” Sam said. “Although some people bring earbuds and listen to their own music, it still serves its purpose of bringing us all together and calming us down before the game begins.”

Similarly to Sam and the football team, senior Rylie Scobey participates in a pre-game tradition with her entire cheer team. Before taking the floor, the squad does the well-known chant that helps them get excited to compete.

“During competition season we do the pump it up chant before we walk out to the mats, and we always do it after football games when we win,” Rylie said.

Many pre-game rituals, including this one, have been a tradition that continues to get passed down through the years. Head coach of the cheer team, Hannah Parshall, is a graduate of FHC and with her return, she brought back many old traditions. 

“Our coaches used to do the chant and then they brought it back for us to learn and we thought that it was fun,” Rylie said. “It gets us excited and gets us ready to compete so we just keep continuing to do it.”

While many sports have rituals that athletes enjoy participating in as a team, other athletes have individualized their pre-game routines and have found what works best for them to reach their full potential. Senior Abby Cumings is a member of the gymnastics team and has found little things to do before she competes on each event.

“Before bars, I have to put my wristbands and my grips on in a certain direction, there is a rip in them, and they have to be facing downwards,” Abby said. “Before I compete floor, I always have to do a roundoff across the left side of the floor to warm up and stretch out my body.”

These common practices might seem like minor details, but sometimes they become so normalized, they turn into superstitions. 

“I have it in my head that if the wristband is the other direction, I won’t be able to grip the bar as well and in the end won’t compete as well,” Abby said. “I am always terrified to start tumbling if I don’t warm up like that every time. I feel like I will pull a muscle when in reality, I will be just fine.”

Whether your pre-game ritual is a superstition or not, having a consistent routine to help prepare you for the upcoming game can be important, so go find that thing to help calm your nerves and prepare for success.