Playing sports in high school, I was familiar with sports superstitions and pre-game rituals that certain players might believe in. For this specific case, my informant is a sophomore midfielder on the USC lacrosse team. I asked him about any specific superstitions he might have. He told me that he wasn’t too unique in that he had a pair of lucky underwear, or compression shorts, that he would wear on every game day. “After my high school team won the state championship my senior year of high school, and I was wearing these compressions, I’ve thought they were lucky ever since”. He admits to not really believing and buying into superstitions, but noted “for some reason, I still would find myself nervous if I wasn’t wearing them. It’s like a sort of comfort; knowing that I’m in my element”.
He notes that for extremely important games, like playoffs or against UCLA, he also has a pair of lucky socks that he sports. Those, like the underwear, are also riddled with holes and battle scars. “It’s part of their personality, their history” he says. They are a special brand of “Adrenaline Lacrosse Socks” that have lacrosse players stitched on the side. I found it interesting to see that athletes such as him choose superstition over comfort and functionality in many situations. He noted that sometimes he gets blisters when he wears those socks because of all the holes.
“I just have to”, he says, “we have too much history together”.
Superstitions such as this span across the globe and are present in many different sports. I had seen rituals and superstitions such as this as a football player in high school where players would have lucky socks, boxers, t-shirts, and shoes. I believe that this superstition is here because players are constantly nervous to play their best, and any extra boost helps. Confidence is such an important aspect in sports, that I truly believe that if a player is more confident because they are wearing their ‘lucky’ clothing, that they will play better in the end.