Sports Superstitions: Normal behavior or just plain freaky?

Linganore's baseball team congratulating each other after they beat Urbana in their 2010-2011 season

courtesy of Tom Fedor

Linganore's baseball team congratulating each other after they beat Urbana in their 2010-2011 season

by Grace Weaver, Reporter

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According to CBN News, Juan Manuel Marquez, Mexican boxer, in 2011 stopped drinking his own urine, but only because his doctor and trainer advised him to do so. This was one of his superstitions that he would do every day in an effort to do his best in the next match that he competed in.

Not nearly as extreme, still, many sport players have  routines that they have to do before every game or match. These traits go for all athletes: pro, collegiate, high school, and rec. Why do we participate in these strange habits when they can’t guarantee success as much as hard work and practice can.

In an article written by Elizabeth Quinn, sports medicine expert, said, “Superstitions can be linked to the boost of confidence and the sense of control that they provide an athlete.”

Doing these routines can help athletes visualize the particular feeling that makes them feel as if the event is happening. When the athletes visualize they get the use all of the senses to create an imagined experience that feels real.

Two Linganore teams have used superstition to guarantee their success.

Pom and Dance Team:

The Pom and Dance Team is just as superstitious of any NFL team. In 1991 the NFL Giants took a knee after their big win in the Super Bowl, similar to what the Poms  do before every dance. No matter what the occasion, the Poms always circle up before a big performance.  In their circle they say encouraging words to get through their dance.

Ever have nerves before doing doing a presentation? The Pom and Dance Team have a good way of getting rid of these nerves they call “Wash the Pig.”

Lexi Watson, member of the pom team says, “Washing the pig helps us get away the nerves so that we don’t worry about the dance for a moment.”

These superstitions may seem weird, but it helped the Poms win states this year!

Varsity Baseball Team

The Varsity baseball team is extremely superstitious, but  the players don’t remember how they came about the traditions. Depending on the pitch during the game depends on the routine that they use to help win.

According to descriptions from several players, while they are up at bat they have elaborate superstitions. If the pitch is one ball, one strike, and one out, then they do finger pistols and have three shots go off when the pitch is being thrown.

When the pitch is two balls, two strikes, and two outs, then they do a very specific routine with their hats. They rub the top of their hat. Next, they tap the top of their hats. Then, finally, they shake their hats. This is all in an effort for whoever is at bat to get a hit.

The third superstition when they are up at bat is if the pitch gets to be three balls, two strikes, and one out then they do rocketships. They pretend that their fingers are little rocketships then someone counts down and then BLAST OFF!

The final baseball batting superstition is after they score a run. Once they hit the plate and come in for a high-five, they miss the first time and hit the back hand.

Senior Michael Fink says, “If we don’t do it (any of the superstitions) then we get a feeling that something isn’t going to go well.”