Morganne Young

A professional tennis player is getting hyped for her game.

All kinds of athletes have their own little ticks and personal habits for staying in shape. Seminole High School (SHS) athletes are no different. An athlete’s pre-game ritual allows them to omit any distractions that could affect their playing in any way. Not to mention, it also reduces lots of stress that they are put under. It is a psychological effect that helps players calm down. Nerves are never good for any game. Superstitions or pre-game rituals can help them overcome any tension. 

IB sophomore Nitish Thirumavalavan, a tennis player at SHS, states: “I listen to music.” 

It seems that something as simple as keeping headphones in helps keep him in check for his matches. Other SHS players agree that simplicity is the best option for staying calm.

IB sophomore Aadarsh Arul relies on conditioning to stay focused on the track: “I stretch and also do drills.” 

IB sophomore Aliah Dacosta is a dancer who uses her superstition to prepare for the game and relieve stress simultaneously: “I always do the counts of the dance before performing it and I would rub my necklace.” 

SHS freshman and basketball player, Mark Flores states: “I like to pray before the game and I self center myself, while taking deep breaths. Then I just try to motivate myself and get loose.” 

Flores prefers going out on the court with a calm and collected mindset. Taking a moment for himself is what keeps him level headed for a game. This routine tiers to his advantage and allows him to play at his best.

Other athletes prefer more absurd rituals before a game, borderlining the idea of superstition just because it has always worked. 

SHS dazzler and IB sophomore Joanna Bonnaire (Sophomore IB student) states: “Our pre-competition ritual starts an hour or two before we go on stage. First, we do a team warm up and we do a full body stretch, a small workout with crunches, push-ups, Russian twists, and partner stretches. Then, we move onto warm up kicks to get our muscles prepared for our routines. After that, we start to get dressed into our costumes and touch up our hair and make-up. Once we’re dressed and ready to go, we start to run the routines. We always do it at least one time full out with music and facials. Once our call-time to get backstage is up. Our coaches give us a pep talk to keep us motivated and determined to do our absolute best. The tensions are high, but the energy is strong and we are all very focused and ready to compete. The team name is called, the music is on, and we are ready to perform!” 

IB sophomore Jordyn Harris and a soccer player on the SHS team states: “I always change my clothes first then put on my socks and shoes in that order.” 

SHS sophomore Julian Casanova , a football player at SHS expresses: “I stretch and put a penny I found on heads in my sock.” 

For the most part, all kinds of athletes from football to dance, each have their own special pre-game rituals. These routines are meant to help athletes stay on top of their game and play their best. It may be something as crazy as putting a penny in a sock or rubbing a necklace, but it still works for them!