Staying on Track

Athletes practice strange pre-performance rituals


Lizzee Winkler

Freshman Dezra Deduya gets ready for her race by doing her usual pre-race ritual of slapping her arms.

Have you ever heard of Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Corea’s pre game ritual? Before every baseball game, he eats pancakes with bananas on top. He says it’s just routine but did it help the Astros win the World Series? Probably not, but can pancakes before a game hurt?

Most athletes have admitted to having unusual pre-game rituals that they say bring them luck or at the very least, a level of comfort.

High school athletes start adopting pre-competition rituals of their own, including members of the track team.

“I do a weird thing where I slap my arms and legs to get the blood rushing,” distance runner, freshman Dezra Deduya said. 

Other track members have routines, too. Senior Ariel Young said she routinely eats a gummy bear or fruit snacks pack before every race or jump. 

Sophomore Gabbie Hoots, State cross country qualifier,  said she has been eating peanut butter and banana toast every morning before a race for two years straight. Hoots says this special breakfast gives her lots of energy to run her best race and if she doesn’t, she wouldn’t be as confident going into the race because her routine is messed up.

The reasons are varied, but the athletes feel they are ritual.

“I think people have weird race rituals because if they don’t do them, it will throw them off their game and they won’t do their best,” freshman distance runner Emma Phillips said.

From eating banana pancakes every morning to slapping your arms athletes will go to the extreme to perform at their best