JF is a 22 year old college student at USC from Rhode Island. He has been playing hockey since he was four or five years old, and started competitive hockey in middle school. In high school, he played on his varsity team, and became close with all the players. They did a pre-game ritual before each game for good luck, which boosted their spirits in pursuit of winning state championship every year.
“Before my hockey games, I would have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because Sidney Crosby, who is one of the best players in NHL in my opinion, used to say he ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before each game for good energy, like good vibes. And then my teammates would always play the same songs in the locker room, like Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You and also Chiraq, which its a completely different vibe. They were our good luck songs for the game. So the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and the songs were my pre-game ritual.”
Rituals don’t always have to be for specific cultures or religions, and often materialize in everyday situations. Many sports teams have their own pre-game rituals that they use to get into the right headspace or use for good luck. Because JF idolized his favorite hockey player who would eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before each game, he implemented that into his own ritual and convinced himself that eating that sandwich would lead him to win a game. Rituals are also bonding experiences and often create communities, so JF and his team became really close because they did this ritual before each game.