What are some of the unique superstitions and rituals that ice hockey players have before games?

Ice hockey players, like athletes in many other sports, often have unique superstitions and rituals they perform before games to help them feel focused, confident, and mentally prepared. These rituals vary from player to player, but here are some common and quirky examples: The Pre-Game Meal: Many players have specific pre-game meals that they adhere to religiously. Whether it's a particular type of pasta, a specific snack, or a certain mealtime, these rituals are believed to bring luck and energy for the upcoming game.

Game-Day Attire: Some players have a specific routine for putting on their gear before a game. From the order in which they put on their equipment to the way they tape their sticks, these routines become part of their pre-game preparation.

Pre-Game Music: Players often have playlists of songs they listen to before games to get into the right mindset. Certain songs or genres may be considered lucky or motivational for them.

The "Tapping" Ritual: Some players tap their sticks on the ice a specific number of times before taking the ice for warm-ups or at the start of the game. This ritual is believed to bring luck and focus.

Stepping on and Off the Ice: Some players have a habit of stepping on or off the ice with a specific foot or in a particular way, believing it will bring them luck during the game.

Lucky Charm or Ritual Object: Some players carry a lucky charm or wear a specific piece of clothing before games, such as a particular pair of socks or a piece of jewelry.

Team Handshakes: Before each game, some teams have a specific team handshake or fist bump sequence that they perform as a sign of unity and camaraderie.

Visualization: Many players engage in visualization exercises, mentally rehearsing plays and situations before the game to enhance their focus and confidence.

Special Routine During National Anthem: Some players have personal routines they perform during the national anthem, such as tapping their heart or taking a deep breath, to center themselves before the game starts.

These superstitions and rituals are deeply personal to the players and can help them build confidence and focus in a sport where mental preparation and a positive mindset are essential for success. While some may seem quirky or unusual to outsiders, these traditions are part of the fabric of ice hockey culture, and players swear by their importance for their performance on the ice.

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