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Babson + Beyond

Athletes and Their Superstitions

The quirky, curious things coaches and players will do for luck.

pitcher pitcher

Illustrations By Scott Garrett

Tess Rubega ’14, softball  When I’m pitching, I have to be chewing Orbit Bubblemint gum. In between innings, I have to take one sip of Gatorade followed by one sip of water. Before a game, I have to listen to the song Firework by Katy Perry. The mound can’t have a speck of dirt on it before I start my pitch. When I walk back to the mound, I have to walk to the right of the mound—never the left.

Ashley Gerber ’17, softball  I always wear my sunglasses when I play, even if the sun is nowhere in sight or I am not in the game. As long as I am on the field, they are on.

Russ Brennen, head coach, men’s and women’s cross-country/track and field  I’ve had the same pre-meet meal— before every meet—for 12 years. Chicken parm!

hockey skates

Brendan Gorman, head coach, men’s lacrosse  The last thing I do before a game is sit in a dark room and listen to Young, Gifted and Black by Bob & Marcia. I’ve been doing this since I was a sophomore player in 2000. I also don’t watch the pregame warm-ups. I arrive on the field right before the game.

Mike Vollmin ’16, men’s ice hockey  Every time I put on my hockey gear, I go left skate, right skate, left shin, right shin, left elbow, right elbow.

Jamie Rice ’90, head coach, men’s ice hockey  Whenever we lose a game, I drive a different way home from the rink. One night I drove from Babson into Boston and then out the Southeast Expressway to get home to Walpole. It took about an hour (normally takes me 20 minutes) and was about 30 miles longer than my normal route.

towel

Marina Capalbo ’15, women’s crosscountry/track and field  I use the same safety pins to attach my bib number. I’ve used the same pins for every race since my first race at Babson. They’re my lucky pins.

Alex Freeman ’15, women’s tennis  I always refold my towel in a certain way after a changeover. While folding my towel, I use the time to relax, think about what I need to improve on since my last game, think about what I’m doing right, and then decide on a plan of action. It’s something I’ve always done.

Brendan Coan ’16, men’s lacrosse  I put a dollar in my sock, and if we win I keep using the same dollar. I always put fresh tape on my stick before every game, and then I take the old tape and shoot it in a trash can. If I make it, I know we’re going to have a good game. I always listen to the same Blink-182 album the night before games.

sock dollar

Lindsey Schmid ’15, softball  Once our team wins, nothing changes. Personally, if we win a game, I will keep the same spandex, socks, and sports bra (washing them, of course). For the team, our hair also will not change. The braids will be braided the same exact way they were braided on the day that we won, and the ribbons will be in the exact same place.

Before every game, I walk to the trainer’s in my socks (not shoes), fill up my Gatorade bottle with ice from the ice machine, water from the sink right next to the ice machine, and then fill my bottle with my magic powder (which is the original Gatorade lemon-lime powder) to create my “magic juice.” Before I get up to bat, I drink two squirts of magic juice, lick my batting gloves three times (left, right, left), adjust my helmet, step into the box fixing the dirt to a perfect level with my feet, and then place my right foot first and my left foot second.