A closer look at student-athletes’ superstitions


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Senior pitcher Corey Gaconi has his own routine before the game where he wears a particular jersey and listens to certain musical playlists.

Jennifer Dettwiller, Staff Reporter

Superstitions in sports are not unheard of, and players stick to what they know works for their game days.

University players from football, baseball and volleyball explained their superstitions leading up to game time.

Senior kicker Jonathan Tatum discussed the particular game-day rituals that work for him.

“I always say the Our Father and just pray to God to let me play to the best of my ability,” said Tatum. “I like to call my mom before games, and I always put my right sock and cleat on first then follow up with my left.”

Tatum also described his pregame music preference.

“I don’t like to listen to rap before games,” said Tatum. “I like to listen to Mumford & Sons, Avett Brothers or really just any kind of indie folk.”

No matter the type of sport, pregame habits continuously seem to fall into play. Senior pitcher Corey Gaconi explained that his pregame is more of a routine than a superstition.

“The day I’m pitching, I always come up here in a certain baseball jersey,” said Gaconi. “So, like this past year, I wore a Greg Maddux jersey to the locker room, and then I’d change into my uniform and stuff. I always wear the same underwear when I pitch, and I mean, it’s kind of just a routine. I listen to certain playlists of music before I pitch, and it kind of gets me into that mindset that I’m going to go out there and compete.”

Before games, Gaconi makes sure that he throws the same number of pitches in the bullpen, puts his wristbands in his back pocket, and sticks to sitting in the same general area in the dugout.

While each sport has its own home game routines, it changes from player to player. Sophomore infielder Trey Harrington put into words his routine of superstitious actions on game day.

“I have to eat McDonald’s before the game,” said Harrington. “I say a prayer before the game, and I put a cross in the dirt behind my position. I wear a sleeve on my throwing arm, and I’ve been starting to wear a cross on my necklace.”

Staying in the groove of heading to a home game, redshirt junior right side volleyball player Elyssa Purcell described the run through of her day.

“Things that I do before a game, is on the way I listen to two songs in particular, ‘All The Way Up’ and ‘All The Way Turnt Up,’” said Purcell. “They pump me up, so I have to listen to them. And I always get a smoothie from Smoothie King before home games. Then, I have to put my right shoe on before my left, and I have a certain knee pad that goes on the right, the one with the tag. It has to be that way.”