Friday 13 February 2009


Originally printed in The Aquinian newspaper on 10/13/2008

Athletes are odd creatures. Baseball hall of famer Wade Boggs used to eat chicken before every major league game he played. At the plate, he would etch the Hebrew word for “life” in the sand with the end of his bat.

Each day at practice he would take 150 ground balls, then do batting practice at 5:17 and sprints at 7:17.Call them what you will, but superstitions, rituals, and routines are a part of sports, and a necessity for players that swear by them.

They are a way to cope with circumstances that we can’t understand or are unable to control. It’s about the comfort they bring the athlete, who is always looking for an advantage in competition.Athletes and coaches follow daily and game time routines religiously because of their beliefs in superstitions.

In the past, teams have been known to never wash their uniforms or socks during a winning streak for fear of losing good luck. Coaches follow the same exact routines. Routines such as entering and exiting through certain doors, picking up hair pins for good luck, saying the same prayers and wearing the same outfit that was worn during a successful game.

Naturally, athletes are creatures of habit. They do the same thing day after day. They practice at the same time, they play at the same time and eat at the same time. Important parts of their lives are very ordered, and so, perhaps, they want to bring that same kind of order into every aspect of their lives.Lost sleep, nausea, and jumpy nerves often make a game a much less enjoyable of an experience. Anticipation and excitement is alright, but built up anxiety will hinder the athletes game. They are constantly in a battle with their unconscious mind. Ideally, you want the unnecessary nerves to disappear and for the body to react exactly as planned. But that’s not always the case.

Being nervous about game shows the player cares, but that nervousness can quickly become counter-productive. Think of nerves and anxiety as a type of fuel. Just like fuel, anxiety can be wasted or misdirected. Athletes become over excited and leak that energy leaving you feeling exhausted before the competition begins. On the contrary, being too relaxed will certainly not serve any purpose.

As Bud Light once claimed, “It’s all about balance”, a balance of excitement and nerves that will give you an absolute readiness, focus and intense energy to perform.

That’s where superstitions come in. They balance it all out. They are unexplainable, but are well-respected and understood among athletes, who use them to get the job done.



  1. you no stu sucks when

  2. what does that have to do with anything moron. Thats like 10 seconds you'll never get back.

    ~Tommies Video Guy~

  3. No is spelt KNOW.Do they not teach
    people to spell at squirrel school?
    Oil slick

  4. 7-16-4... do they not coach men's hockey at STU?

  5. some tough guy behind a computer thinking he is awesome poking fun at a young teams record. Must be someone who thinks they are taking credit for UNB's recent success.

  6. Tough guy, NO... I just don't think there's any reason to poke fun at someone because they misspelled a word. This is supposed to be a hockey blog... I didn't realize we were getting graded on our use of the English language.

  7. How can you say that, yet post under an anonymous name

    Directed to the person 2 post above me.

    Stu blows, young or not.

  8. That is a really bad spelling of that word.With any luck UNB will lose in the second round and Squirrel fans will be bought back down a peg or two.
    Oilers win in a shootout and move upthree positions 10th to 7th.