Tradition fuels winter sports season


Meghan McGowan

Varsity boy’s basketball Coach Sam Duane leads his team against Sierra Canyon. Perry would fight hard but ultimately lose 65-52, meaning Coach Duane will likely change his routine.

Some athletes believe it takes a little more than skill to win. Whether it be a pregame warm-up routine to get hyped up, an eccentric tradition, or even something as simple as a pair of lucky socks. 

Even the coaches can be a little superstitious when the season starts and everything is on the line. Varsity boys basketball coach Sam Duane once ate Subway as a pre-game meal for 34 straight games in a row. Duane, who’s in basketball including working with NBA players, when asked about his superstitions said “I am very superstitious, if we’re winning I wear the same shirt, I eat the same thing before a game as long as we’re winning, if we lose I change up.” 

Routines like this help players get in the right mindset before a game, so it is no surprise many athletes and coaches are so particular about their routine.

A flashy entrance is part of many good wrestlers’ routines and varsity wrestlers get to choose the song that plays when they walk out onto the mat and get ready to wrestle. Most wrestlers choose some sort of hype song, usually a rock and roll anthem or particularly hype rap song, but one wrestler had a unique approach to getting prepared. 

Senior Hershal Hall likes to listen to “Reading Rainbow” as a walkout song. When asked about this tradition Hall said “I like to listen to low key songs to help me focus,” and claimed, “I’ve had some bad matches, but never when I walked out to Reading Rainbow.” In addition, the wrestling team captains now rally the team by giving speeches, which is new this year.

Pregame music also plays a role in getting into the right frame of mind, and athletes take wildly different approaches even in the same sport. The varsity boy’s soccer team, for instance, is apparently dead silent on their way to games. Senior Kellar Brown explained, “We’re all focusing on our own thing, and how we can contribute to the team.” This is in sharp contrast to the girl’s soccer team, who listens to “riff-off” from Pitch Perfect 2, before every game. The riff-off tradition is so old even current seniors who have been on the team for all four years do not know how it started. 

These traditions, superstitions, and routines can be essential to get a team, player, or coach into the winning mindset. As ridiculous as some of these traditions may seem, the mental aspect of sports are a huge part of the game, and having a consistent routine can help players achieve consistent performance.