Every Timberwolf knows that while hard work and practice are important for winning matches, a positive attitude can change the tide of a game. Here are the fun pre-game traditions, routines and rituals Northwood athletes perform to boost team spirit before heading to the court, field or swimming pool.
For the boys swim team, prepping for the big swim meet means getting into the mindset starting the day before.
“The night before a big meet, we go and have a big team dinner for team bonding,” senior Earnest Wang said. “And of course, right before the meet we do a team huddle and then a cheer at the end before we break.”
When there’s a home game for girls basketball, the players make sure they’re ready for the game all day.
“We wear our shooting shirts to school on home game days, and right before the game starts, we make sure to do handshakes,” senior Emily Ozima said.
When asked if the football team had any pre-game rituals, senior Moses Shin had a curt but telling reply.
“No, we don’t,” Shin said. “Unless you consider touching the top of the door on the way out a ritual.”
When it comes to girls racquet sports, it seems that girls lacrosse and girls tennis get creative with their routines.
“Our team makes a ‘bonfire’ with our lacrosse sticks by throwing our sticks in a pile, and we gather in a circle around it with arms around each other’s backs,” senior lacrosse player Rebecca Halim said. “We’ll say some encouraging words, last minute reminders and things to get us pumped before yelling ‘Northwood!’ as a team.”
Girls tennis seemed to follow a very similar pattern.
“We huddle together and arrange our rackets into a teepee that stands up in the center,” sophomore Megan Lui said. “The captains then give some words of encouragement and we sign off with our Northwood cheer.”
No matter the sport, athletes seemed to understand the importance of teamwork and camaraderie for success in their games. These pre-game practices and rituals are just a few ways in which Northwood teams build a strong environment of encouragement and support.