WUFT News

For many athletes, superstitions and routines are key ingredients for Gator wins

By on October 4th, 2012

Superstitions are a well-known trait of the sports world.

In the 1982 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Michael Jordan wore his lucky shorts and he and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, won the championship. The lucky shorts followed him to the NBA where he continued to wear these shorts for every single game he played.

At the University of Florida, many athletes have their own superstitions that give them confidence whether they are kicking a soccer ball down the field or smashing a volleyball over a net.

Tangerine Wiggs, a senior UF volleyball player, has been a key player on the Florida volleyball team for three years. Her key to success is her orange Nike socks.

“I have to wear the orange socks with the Nike check,” she said. “I’ve done it every game since I’ve got here.”

Wiggs said one game she forgot her socks and instantly went into a panic. However, a fellow teammate Taylor Unroe saved the day by bringing the socks.

“There have been times where I’ve had a bad game and I think maybe I should switch to blue,” Wiggs said. “But, I go back and I just can’t stand not to wear the Nike orange songs.”

She said no matter how the game goes she will always go back to the socks.

For UF soccer player Kat Williamson socks are not the key to a great game, but rather the order she puts on her soccer gear.

“I never put on my left shoe before my right, so everything is right shoe, left shoe, right shinguard, left shinguard,” she said.

Williamson also uses an energy drink called Spark to fuel up before a game. She said she once mixed the drink with fruit punch then lost a game against Miami. Never again will she mix the energy drink with fruit punch, although she has since switched to lemon-lime.

Williamson also said she will put on her uniform on in the morning for a game as late as 7 p.m.

“It just calms me a little bit,” she said.

Lee McGriff, a former Florida football player and coach, had a counterintuitive lucky charm when he played. He would carry around a Buckeye, a token from Ohio State University.

McGriff said certain routines and the repetition of “lucky” items can give players structure, which can ease their jitters before a game.

“It’s something tangible, practical right then that you go through and say ‘Ah, I’m going to do good because everything’s in order. I’ve done everything right it’s going to be right,’” he said.

Kelsey Meany wrote this story online.


This entry was posted in Sports, University of Florida and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Sports

Florida's Jacob Kurtz hustles to save a ball before it goes out of bounds.

LSU Hands Gators Second Straight Loss

The LSU Tigers defeated the Gators 79-61, making this the team’s second straight loss. The Tigers had three players who scored in double-digits. Florida is now 3-2 in SEC play, and 10-8 overall.


Frazier II tries to create space between him and an Auburn defender as he makes his way toward the basket.

Gators Roll Over Auburn At Home

With a 75-55 blowout victory over the Auburn Tigers, the Gators move to 3-0 in SEC play, and now have an overall record of 10-6. Dorian Finney-Smith lead the charge against the Tigers, scoring a team-high 14 points.


Florida players celebrate in front of the band after their victory.

Gators Squeeze By ECU To Win The Birmingham Bowl

The Birmingham Bowl was no easy victory for the Florida Gators, as they battled Eastern Carolina down to the final minutes of the game, winning by a score of 28-20.


unnamed

We Crunched The Numbers — Find Out How Muschamp’s Coaching Effectiveness Score Compared

Former Florida Gators football coach Will Muschamp’s “coach effectiveness score” landed him close to the bottom in a comparison with other Southeastern Conference teams and with all four-year coaches in the other five “power conferences.”


St. Francis Catholic High School football players practice in full gear, including the Riddell helmets with the InSite technology.

Local High Schools Use Technology To Battle Brain Trauma On The Field

Between 1.6 and 3.8 million Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are diagnosed each year in the United States, most of which are concussions. Football is the leading cause of TBIs according to the CDC. Some area high schools are using technology to help battle brain trauma on the field.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments