Best Game Day Superstitions
As hockey players, we are no stranger to superstitions, especially on game days. Whether it be taping your stick in the exact same way, in the exact same spot at the exact same time before every game or doing your pregame ritual of a different handshake with every teammate, these things get our head right and ready for go time. At Howies, we all have our own different superstitions before we hit the ice but we decided to compile a few of our favorites, check 'em out and see if maybe you do the same thing before your games!
Taping the Twig
This is nothing new and of course at Howies, this is the most common superstition. Black or white, heel to toe or toe to heel, pro grip or stretch grip, wax on or wax off, there is one specific TJ that you tried out once and scored a few goals and now, it’s the only TJ you go to for your games. There is also something therapeutic when it comes to taping your stick in your stall before the game, giving you time to get your head right and prepare to take the ice.
Another superstition that is as old as time is hockey hair. From NHL players all the way down to Pee Wee, you will see players rocking hair straight out of the 80s. From Mullets to the flow, hockey hair has been passed down from generation to generation as a good luck charm and a staple to the dirty dangles and playoff time. The great one himself, Wayne Gretzky, even participated in this superstition as he mentioned he once cut his hair on the road and the team lost so he then refused to cut his hair while traveling ever again.
The Right Way to Dress is the Right Way
This superstition is also quite common for most players as they are in the locker room getting dressed for the game. A lot of players say that they have to get dressed in the same order every time because they believe that doing that pre-game ritual every time brings them the good energy they need for the game. A well known goalie by the name of Patrick Roy, would lay out each piece of his gear on the floor and get dressed in the same order every time before he would head out of the locker room, worked for him, why not me!
Don't Touch the Cup
This is heavily used at the higher levels of hockey like the NHL. When it comes to winning divisions, some players will refuse to touch the cup because most believe that doing so will affect the chances of winning the Stanley Cup! This has even progressed to fans of the teams who visit the Hockey Hall of Fame. They will refuse to touch the cup there as they fear it will affect their team’s chances of winning.
Handshake or Get Out
Each player is bound to have a “secret” handshake with at least one of their teammates. Whether it be in the locker room or as they are stepping on the ice for warmies, they know if they don’t finish that handshake perfectly with each player, you’re not going to have a good game.
The Meals Create the Wheels
This has to be the most important of superstitions, or maybe it’s just the most important to me… But the game day meals. What you are eating is providing you the energy to compete but it is also setting your mood for the day. Eat a meal once and have a bad game right after, then I may never eat that food again! Maybe you’re one of the players that can scarf down a couple of slices of pizza a few hours before the game and play your heart out but you only do that because one game day you were out of food and rushed to get a slice and had the best game of your life.
What are you Thinking With What you are Drinking
Game day liquids pose important values similar to meals but there is always a bit of a twist on this one. From slamming a Monster energy in between each period to drinking certain drinks in a certain order throughout the game, there is always a specific go-to for each player. Imagine drinking a Diet Coke, a Water, a Gatorade and ending with another Diet Coke after each game. To some that sounds like a lot, but to Wayne Gretzky, that was how he ended each game and obviously it worked for him.
From eating your pregame meal to dressing how you need to before the game, there is always something unique to your pre-game ritual! Do you do any of these superstitions above? If not any of these what do you do before a game to get in the right mindset and prepare?