Pregame Rituals


Teagan Sutherland

Luke Zachman (11), Andrew Brotherton (11), and Quintin Yon-Wagner (10) kneel before their game to pray.

Teagan Sutherland, staff writer and photographer

“Consistency is really important when it comes to sports,” said senior athlete, Julia Parra. 


Parra is not alone in her opinion. Having a set pattern to get yourself in the mindset to perform is a great means of keeping said consistency for many athletes at Arlington High School. It is common for people to have a routine before a game or meet whether it’s to focus themselves or for superstitious reasons. 


Pregame rituals have been a tradition throughout the school passed down to every grade level from either their teammates or coaches. Being able to have that bonding time as a team to achieve a collective mindset is important to be able to function during a match and is often a necessary part of the routine of a team. Junior wrestler Rylan Polkinghorn said that in his team’s routine they gather around in a circle and do tricks, such as backflips. In doing so, the wrestling team is able to get “hyped up” and excited for their matches.


“I started this last year and I’ll probably do it again this year” said Polkinghorn.


For others like junior athlete Michael Tsoukalas with his ritual of eating bananas before every game, their traditions have been a part of their routine since they were young kids. 


In the cases of many additional athletes at the school, their pregame ritual isn’t just about getting themselves focused, but also reminding themselves of who they’re playing for. By creating and sticking to these rituals, they are able to focus and center themselves for the game.


Quintin Yon-Wagner, a sophomore football player said, “I spend time with my loved ones before the game and then I play for them.”


For many athletes at Arlington, there is so much more to the game than just the sport. They use their rituals to try to maintain continuous focus in order to be the best they can for their team, family, friends, and others.