The Student News Site of Berkley High School

THE SPECTATOR

The Student News Site of Berkley High School

THE SPECTATOR

The Student News Site of Berkley High School

THE SPECTATOR

Beyond The Locker Room: A Closer Look Into Berkley’s Pre-Game Rituals

In the world of sports, the moments leading up to the game can be seen as some of the most important. Athletes oftentimes engage in pre-game rituals, alone or with their team, to achieve great performance. Although each player has their own process, the pre-game ritual is when one can clearly see into a team’s strength and unity.
Every team has a different approach to giving the players enthusiasm and energy for the game. For example, the Berkley High School varsity basketball teams each have unique strategies to continue their successful wins.
Senior Ari Geller on the boys’ BHS varsity basketball team shares his personal experience with different pre-game transitions that keep him and the team’s energy up and get everyone in a positive mindset. To start off the gameday, Geller shares that for most games the team wears their BHS varsity basketball jumpsuits, or on big games against schools like Royal Oak or Avondale they wear suits.
He then explains that he has his own pre-game ritual before the one with the team. He shares, “Before every game, I have to listen to slow music – strictly slow jams. I listen to a lot of Daniel Caesar, Ari Lennox, and Mac Miller. I’ve noticed that listening to slow music before games helps me slow the game down when I’m on the court. I’ll listen to this music all day before the game. I start right when I wake up and throughout our warm-ups until right before tip-off.”
After Geller has his own time to get into the right mindset, he also engages with the team. He states that before every warm-up they have a pre-game talk with the coaches to discuss the game plan and goals. He adds that if it is a big game against schools like Royal Oak or Avondale, the speeches can get very intense, but are always motivational. Geller explains that the energy truly comes from the players in the locker room. “The players are always holding each other accountable and letting each other know what is at stake. Coaches are there to remind us, but the players mainly just let their emotions loose before each game.” Another very important aspect is warming up before the game. The whole team practices and stretches as one. “Our pre-game warmup has a huge effect on our in-game performance. If we fail to bring the energy pre-game and our locker room talks, our lethargy translates to our on-court product.” The time in the locker room and during warmups brings the team together and gets them determined.
Similar to Geller, Senior Maeve Nolan on the girls’ BHS varsity basketball team shares her involvement with pre-game rituals. She explains that before every game the team “circles up together and we each individually share how we’re going to prepare for the upcoming game.” Nolan highlights that this pre-game ritual helps her “play better and also helps the team play better and feel more connected to each other.”
While BHS basketball has some great pre-game rituals, the girls’ varsity swim and dive team also has some noteworthy ones. Senior Nadia Ceaser shares her participation in the swim and dive pre-game rituals. Before every race, Ceaser explains that she enjoys taking time for herself. “Swim meets are pretty energetic, so I like to listen to music alone for a bit to keep calm and focus on my race.” After Ceaser focuses on her own performance, she then has various cheers she does with her team. “With the team, we have a number of chants such as Rumble Berkley, Hokey Pokey, and our walk-out chant that goes like this: B-E-R-K-L-E-Y we’re the bears of Berkley High, we, we are!” For the Rumble Berkley, the entire team stands on the deck and spells out “rumble” in a circle. They then repeat this five more times, each time getting louder and louder. In comparison, for the Hokey Pokey chant, the team goes outside and sings the Hokey Pokey in a circle. These very spirited practices can have positive impacts on each player for their upcoming race. Ceaser adds that “These chants greatly affect our team’s energy and team spirit before the meets. Oftentimes we are all tired after morning practice and a long day of school, but doing our pre-game ritual together gets our energy up and helps everyone to be the best swimmer and teammate they can be.”
Game days at BHS are filled with great traditions that inspire and excite athletes. Whether they win or lose, pre-game rituals bring teams together. BHS’s teams are all unique in their own way, and hopefully, each tradition doesn’t fade.

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About the Contributor
Jane Heller, Editor in Cheif
Hi! I am Jane Heller, and I am Editor in Chief this year. This is my fourth year on staff. I decided to join writing for publication because I wanted more opportunities to improve my writing. In these past four years I've learned so much in this class. I've learned how to write, work with fellow peers, and lead a class. This class is so special to me and I love to be apart of this community every year. 

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