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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

How do student-athletes get into the zone?

<ir="ltr">Left sock first, then right sock. Right shoe, then left shoe. Left laces then right laces; pregame routines, although they can be superstitious, can also help to get a player mentally ready for the challenge that lies ahead. Some players feel that their pregame routines help them play better while others perform pregame routines just to get in the “zone.”

Mark Roth ’19, a member of the Varsity Men’s Soccer Team uses his pregame routines “to get in the right state of mind.” Roth’s personal pregame routine always includes “listening to Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield before taking the field.” However, Roth said that the team also has a pregame routine that they take part in before every game. “About 60-45 minutes before the game starts, we have quiet time- a slot of time where we mentally prepare for the game,” he said.  “Most guys will either stretch or listen to music.” In addition to his team’s pregame routine, before each game their whole team and coaching staff gather together to go over the game plan and some strategy before taking the field. As for what he eats before games, Roth is always “trying to make Friday night pasta nights.”

While Roth’s routine is more focused on mentally getting in the zone, other athletes may use more superstitious ways to prepare for game day. Noah Plewa ’19, a member of the Men’s Varsity Basketball Team, said that he always does some of the little things the same way, for example, the “order I put my shoes and socks on, how I tie my shoes, what music I listen to and how my jersey is tucked.”

Plewa said that these routines evolved throughout his basketball career and “while I know it doesn’t have any real impact on the game, having those things be the same every time I play helps me stay loose and relaxed when it’s game time.” As for team routines, Plewa stated that his team is not that superstitious, but they “try and keep the same schedule through the year in terms of what we eat, when our shootarounds are and what music we warm up to.”

Another superstitious Carleton student athlete is Varsity Women’s Soccer player Hailey Mair ’19. Mair said, “I wear the same pair of game socks the whole season and I do not wash them after I score a goal.” As for how this superstitious tradition came about, Mair did it once when she was younger and went on a really successful streak and has been doing it ever since then. Mair said that Carleton Women’s Soccer’s pregame routines are a lot less superstitious and usually involve “a pregame meeting or film session with the coaches to go over key parts of our game plan.” She added that her favorite part of the pregame routine is definitely “listening to music as a team in the locker room as we get ready to take the field.”

Music definitely seems to be a key to Carleton pregame warmups. Women’s Varsity Tennis member Kristina Conrad ’19 mentioned that “last year my team was obsessed with Beyoncé’s new album, Lemonade and would listen to it every match for warm up.” As for how this tradition came about, Conrad said that the team “all watched her video one night and ever since, we were hooked.” Her personal pregame routine usually consists of listening “to music before warming up and to go off by myself to get in the right mindset.”

Every team has their own pregame routine. But for some individuals, superstitious pregame routines help them get in the zone. For others, music helps them perform at the highest level.

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