Top Eight: Pre-Game Traditions and Superstitions
Traditions and superstitions are present in all aspects of life; and the Australian game is no exception. Regardless of the era; players and supporters alike end up doing at least one thing the same, week in and week out, hoping that it will somehow improve the end result.
Take the various women’s football competitions for example. Most have only been around for several years, for example, the SANFLW has only existed for three years, yet the players have no shortage of their own traditions and superstitions. Given some began in local football or the junior grades and have since continued into the SANFLW, but our point still remains.
With this in mind, we searched far and wide to bring you some of the best we could find. All of these examples are from real women footballers ranging from South Australia to Victoria.
So, without further do; from snacks to fashion; here are the Top Eight Pre-Game Traditions and Superstitions.
#8 - the Warmup & Run Out
Beginning with a basic; now we aren’t talking about the usual or standard team warmups here. We are talking about the things that they themselves must do to at least improve the chances of a win (or at least in their minds).
There are a few notable ones that most players would probably do; from having to take set shots before the game to using a spikey ball to help loosen up those muscles. And even a smart routine of checking to see what direction the wind is going.
But the standout for number eight goes to something that most people do … but don’t really realise they’re doing it. We are of course talking about the good old fashioned; touch the top of the door frame as you exit the change rooms.
Why do such a thing? Well that’s a good question … but sadly the answer remains hidden. Maybe it is to show off your height or to test the structural integrity of the building. Regardless, it sits at number eight on our list.
#7 - the Pre-Game Tunes
The pre-game tunes come in at number seven. Let’s be honest, most of us listen to music on a daily basis; whether that is on your way to work, school or just trying to find motivation to study.
But when it comes to footy, we have some prime examples. From some general “bangers” to Hill Top Hoods and even some Travis Scott.
But the best song request goes to “The Climb” by Hannah Montana.
“Just gotta keep going. And I, I gotta be strong.”
With lyrics like that well … kinda no surprise that this is used as a motivational song. Though to be fair; pretty much every line of the song is motivational based in one way or another.
#6 - the Pre-Game Menu
Coming in at number six, we have a whole menu of different foods that players eat either the night before, the morning of, or at the game.
Ranging from the favourite and iconic pre-game banana, to a steak dinner the night before. Other favourites include a morning coffee, some lollies, a smoothie bowl or even an ice-cream sandwich.
As for drinks well the most notable and well thought out routine includes three bottles of water the night before, as well as one during the day and one just before the game.
At the end of the day, one way or another all of these have some sort of benefit.
#5 – Make me TikTok famous!
Coming in at number five is the TikTok takeover.
Rising in popularity, it seems that even footy isn’t immune anymore. Originally, it was just making content at trainings, but now it has since spread to the changeroom pre-game.
While by their own admission, the content is “winged”; it is a great way to get the team involved and take your mind off the upcoming match.
#4 – Footy Fashion
Footy fashion comes in at the number four spot. Ranging from a good practice of wearing the mouth guard as soon as you enter the changeroom (so you don’t forget it) to always putting on the left boot first.
While there are some iconic pieces of fashion in the world of football, from bright coloured boots to a pink hair ribbon; it is one that happens behind closed doors that raises more questions than it answers.
We are of course talking about re-tying your boot laces three times one you put them on.
Why? Well they put it down to making sure they get the right tightness and we guess it makes sense because good things come in three.
#3 - The Pre-Game Nap
When is the best time to take a nap?
If you said “in the car on the way to the game” then congratulations. Hopefully you’re just not the one who is driving.
For the player in question, she does this regularly; which is a nice way to get some extra rest especially if the game is an early one.
And is also a nice way to stay fresh for the game, as long as you wake up in time for the centre bounce that is.
#2 - the Pre-Game Brush
This is as much a good footy tradition/routine as it is a practice of good dental hygiene.
Long story short; the player in question brushes her teeth either on the way to or at the oval; because she believes she plays better with clean teeth.
While we cannot prove whether there is a correlation between clean teeth and clean skills, we are pretty confident that she is not the only player that does this.
#1 - Baked Beans
Did you know that baked beans on toast prevents concussion?
Okay, that is a terrible statement. Don’t go eating a tin of bake beans then ramming your head into a wall; baked beans are not a suitable alternative for a helmet ... it only works for a certain someone.
Here is the context; she ate baked beans on toast most mornings before a game; seems harmless enough. Except the one time she didn’t, she was concussed during the game.
And the player in question is renowned for her courage; so that adds even more credibility to this story.
Now you see where we are coming from. Sad origins but quite the story, and quite the unique tradition we must say. One that is certainly worthy of our number one spot.
Special thanks to all those who contributed.