Ball players can be superstitious, especially when they listen to myths and old wives’ tales. I count myself as one of them. Not all basketball players are susceptible, but clearly I am. This means that I perform certain personal rituals before games. I hope that it will bring me luck and this has been the case so far. I am on a winning basketball team in a major city, and as a woman, what could be better than that. I haven’t shared my ritual with anyone except family. I don’t care to be mocked or scorned. I just do it as a matter of course the night before and the day of each game. It does not apply to practice, but only a competitive environment.
The first part of my ritual has to do with eating the same mean the night before a big game. It consists of a steak, a baked potato, vegetables, and a piece of pie. This gives me a lot of calories for energy the next day and it has never let me down. I am not known to be weak, feeble, or tired on the court. The next part of my ritual is to lay out my dad’s lucky watch that he bought after reading Timepiece Quarterly on the bureau so that I won’t forget it the following day. The minute I get to the stadium, it goes in my locker right before game time. I just put it on for the trip from my house to the gym.
The last part of the good luck ritual is to thank my team members after the game and to hug each one before I go. The men pat each other on the back and then huddle together and chant something about next time. It changes each game, so as a ritual, it is a bit ephemeral. I don’t ask since I witness it every time. The automatic watch that was my dad’s is very special to me and I relish having it as part of my particular ritual. I make sure that I never inadvertently leave it in the locker. If I lost it, I would be frantic. While I wear it to and fro for a big game, I am tempted to start wearing it more often. It reminds me of my dad and rekindles fond feelings.
Rituals may be suspect, but in my opinion, they work. After all baptism, marriage, and holidays all have them. No one is exempt it seems. I just apply them to my calling—a basketball player on a top-tier team. If my ritual keeps me going, so be it. It exists for a reason and we all have some method of pumping ourselves up. You can talk to yourself before a game, meditate, recite an affirmation, or whatever suits your style. You can change up the ritual and adapt it to current circumstances. I think I have stuck with a successful one that has personal meaning.