Sports Superstitions

By Hailey Abdilla 

From childhood superstitions like “step on a crack, break your momma’s back,” to things people do often, superstitions are a part of everyday life for a lot of people. However, no one takes their rituals and routines quite as seriously as athletes do, mess with their game day superstitions, and their entire week is ruined. On a personal level, I am incredibly superstitious, I always put my left cleat on before my right, and I do every warm-up motion in sets of threes. However, professional athletes are not exempt from superstitious habits. Let’s take a look at some of the most ritualistic and superstitious professionals. Let’s start with a basketball legend, Michael Jordan. Jordan was known to wear his University of North Carolina shorts under his basketball uniform every game, even inspiring the longer shorts we see in basketball today in order to cover up the shorts he wore underneath. Jordan went on to win six NBA championships, so he must have been onto something with his superstitious layering. Next up is tennis sensation Serena Williams. Williams follows an incredibly strict regimen on match days, she brings her shower sandals to the court, refuses to change her socks, ties her shoelaces a specific way, and bounces the ball a certain amount of times before each serve. No matter how outlandish it may seem, it is hard to argue with a seven time Wimbledon champion. The final athlete is MLB reliever, Turk Wendell. Some may consider Wendell a little maniacal when it comes to his superstitions. From wearing a necklace adorned with the teeth of animals he hunted to brushing his own teeth between innings, I think all would agree that Wendell’s superstitions go a little beyond reason. Whether or not you want to attribute any of these athletes’ success to their superstitions, it is obvious that changing someone’s game day routine puts a wrench in their plans. This can inadvertently mess up someone’s game, whether or not the superstition really works. Let’s take a look at some of Westmonts very own superstitions!

The Westmont softball team has a plethora of superstitions on game day. Number one rule, do not step on the chalk! Nothing ruins warm-ups more than a fresh cleat print on the chalk lines. On top of that, the players hip bump in a circle twice before doing their cheer, spit in a circle, and put their right foot in before every game. These rules are sacred, and with the team making it all the way to CCS finals last year, it does not look like they will be changing any time soon. 

Senior Marcus Swalve takes his track meets very seriously, and every meet means a new pair of black socks. Mess with his ritual and you may find this track star sprinting to the store instead of down the track. 

For basketball sensation, senior Joseph Papa must take a 30 minute nap before every game and you won’t catch him on the court without a little bit of rubbing alcohol on his face. 

Soccer senior Kayla Kim always puts her right sock on before her left sock on game days, mess with this routine and Kayla will be starting off on the wrong foot. 
On the contrary, junior Nadia Zaya puts her left sock on before her right and only rolls up her left sleeve (quirks of a lefty). You will also find Nadia chewing gum and completing her treasured handshake with senior Hailey Abdilla on game days.