Southern athletes share pre-game routines
Edgar Ayala – Special to the Southern News
Every athlete has different ways they prepare for games. Whether it’s fixing their hair or doing certain stretches, they all have distinct warm ups and rituals, but the things that run through their head before storming the field is something people don’t tend to think about.
Yesenia Evaristo, a junior on the SCSU softball team, is a pitcher with 12 years of experience, and said she still feels the pressure of people watching her play, but over time has learned to control it once she hits the mound.
“I feel nervous before every game, but I have scouting reports, so I kinda know what we’re going into before every game,” she said. “I’ll sit down with my catcher during my bullpen and we’ll try to get all the pre-game jitters out, so by the time I’m on the field I’m ready to go.”
Evaristo, 20, has a routine before games of putting eye black on her teammates to make sure they have their game face on.
“There’s a lot of different little things I do, I have to make sure I have my bow in my hair, I always draw eye black on my teammates, certain people I draw them on, so it’s like a habit.”
Evaristo said. “My makeup also has to be perfect, I think it’s a pitcher thing because my other teammates do it too, and we always make sure we have our glitter on.”
However, Jonas Folstad, a soccer player and senior at Southern, doesn’t feel nervous or sink into pressure at all. Instead he feels more scared of losing than feeling actual nerves before a game.
“I wouldn’t call it nerves, but just being afraid of losing,” he said. “When I go on the field I’m just so focused on what I’m going to do next with the ball, that I don’t really feel any pressure once I step on the field.”
Folstad, 22, came from Norway to attend Southern by being involved in a program called, CSUSA, that helps international athletes from around the world land scholarships for schools in the United States. He also noted major differences in soccer here compared to his homeland of Norway.
“The biggest difference is that we’re not playing for our schools back there, you’re playing for a club,” Folstad said. “When I was 17 I got sent to the first team of my club, so I’ve been playing with a lot older and experienced players, but here you play with people around the same age as you. In Norway it’s different, you play with people from 20 to 35 years old, so I would say it’s a lot more physical back there.”
On the other hand, Jackie Beathea, a junior and star player on the women’s basketball team, said she likes to have goals set in her mind before the game starts.
“I like to set goals for myself, if you tell me my goal is to get 11 rebounds, I put that goal in my head and try and do whatever it takes to get those 11 rebounds, and help us win,” she said.
In addition, Luke Houston, 22, the senior co-captain on the men’s basketball team, said there were times as a freshman where he let frustration run through his mind and get in the way of playing basketball.
“For my first couple of years here if I had a long day, or something was bothering me, I would bring that on to the court,” he said. “But this year I’ve been good at leaving everything else behind once I step on the court, which is probably why I had a better year this year.”
Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas