Carlsbad athletics participate in team rituals


Photo courtesy of Madison Wagoner.

Soccer players pray before they play. This pre-game tradition promotes team unity.

Lauren Henry, Staff Writer

Many Carlsbad High sports teams have various rituals that they perform before every game to ensure success. Coaches encourage this behavior to instill a greater sense of camaraderie. These superstitions provide a fun way to get excited about competition.

Prior to each game, the girls’ softball coach has established a team bonding exercise in order to energize the players.

“Before each game, we line up and our coach will stand in the middle and call each player’s name,” sophomore Audrey Sumitra said. “We run and high-five our coach and do a chant and clap seven times. This really helps pump our team up for the game.”

Boys’ soccer uses a more traditional approach to motivate the players.

“We start off with a prayer to God. Then we circle up and do a chant that originated from Nebraska’s football program,” junior Seth Ketterer said. “It gets us pumped up for the game and makes us feel engaged.”

Girls lacrosse is no exception to these pre-game rituals. Instead of a chant or prayer, the players play a game we all remember from childhood.

“Right before we go into the game, we have a rock paper scissors tournament,” junior Lili Auten said. “Each person finds a partner on the team and play each other and the winners of each game keep advancing. We cheer for the person we lost to and it really gets us excited for the game.”

For water polo boys their season routine involved much more than just a chant.

“Every year for division one CIFs, we would shave our heads and get mohawks,” junior August Weyandt said. “It helped us gain team unity. I thought the tradition was really fun and created a bond between us.”

However, due to being moved up a division, the boys water polo team is taking a break from their 12 year ritual of shaving their head.  In the past, the pregame ritual worked in their favor winning 11 out of 12 games.

“Now we are no longer in division one and we have switched to the open division which is an elevated level for our team,” Weyandt said. “We want to appear more serious so we don’t give our opposing team any reason to dislike us and see us as inferior. This helps us concentrate on our game and not our stunt.”

Although a pre-game tradition can become too extravagant, they still provide a way for the players to feel close.

“I think rituals help pump up each team,” sophomore Zach Santillian said. “It gives us more confidence on the field.”