Superstitions: Get your head in the game – Pre-game rituals


Vivian Chiang

Sports teams at MVHS come together to boost morale or relax before games. The teams have different ways of expressing their support for each other, but they all have one goal in common: to unite as a team.

Running Pride

The night before their first big meet of the year, the cross country team gathers at a pasta restaurant. While it is beneficial to eat carbohydrates before races, the team eats together for other reasons as well.

“Because our team is so big, we don’t necessarily talk to everyone during practice, [so] it’s also good bonding for new team members,” sophomore Mizuki Kadowaki said.

Before every race, the whole team comes together in a circle, puts their hands in the middle,and chants their cheer. Traditionally, the veterans purposely do not reveal the chant to the new incoming members. One race after another, the new members struggle to piece together the blur of words flying past their ears.

“[The cheer] sort of gets us going because it makes us feel more like a team and that we’re running not just for our own time but for the team as well,” Kadowaki said.

Used with permission of MV Cross Country Team

Tick Tick Boom!

The girls tennis team files in one long line, next to the opposing team. Each player says her name and proceeds to high five every other member. The team then gets together in a tight circle and screams their cheer.

“The cheer, especially the screams and shouts, [relieves] all our stress for a moment and [gets us] very excited and hyped up,” sophomore Audrey Tzeng said.

Water Polo, how do you feel?

Girls water polo players, ready to play in the next game, suddenly all stop their practice routines and converge in a circle in the shallow end of the pool. They put the balls in the center and move them around in the circle, while keeping their arms locked around each other’s waists.

“We all go through and sometimes just say one thing we know we need to work on during the game or one thing to remember while playing the game,” sophomore Olivia Lassa said.

Then the members let out their nervous energy by shouting their cheer. On the last “Oh!”, the girls splash the water and swim towards their respective goals.

Bursting Through

Filled with anxiety and pressure, the football players go through a series of warm ups and pep talks before the games to relax. The five captains hold hands and walk to the center of the field, met by five other captains from the opposing team. The other players discuss strategies, practice throwing the football, and drink lots of water on the side.

“On the field, we say our prayer to get inspired right before the game,”  sophomore Cameron Jones said.

At the end of halftime, the cheerleaders raise a giant banner under the goal post, while the entire football team hides behind it. After a few inspiring chants from the cheerleaders, the  players burst through the banner and run on to the field with the crowd cheering them on.

Reporting by Vivian Chiang and Priya Reddy