Everyone is a little superstitious every now and then, but athletes seem to have some of the weirdest methods for ensuring that they will win every match. In fact, some of the biggest names in sports have showcased and discussed some really odd pre-game rituals. Check out the short list below to learn about just a few of the strangest superstitious rituals that athletes have performed in an effort to give themselves the good luck that they need to do extremely well on the field or on the court.
Tennis superstar Serena Williams is admired by people all over the world, especially girls who want to be like her. But did you know that she is surprisingly superstitious, in addition to strong, agile, and powerful? She has actually been quoted saying that she has too many superstitious rituals that she finds very annoying, but she simply can’t help herself. She has to perform the rituals before every game in order to make herself feel good about the match that’s ahead and to give herself the confidence of knowing that she will win. One of her most unusual rituals is wearing the same pair of socks, without washing them, to every match as long as she keeps up her winning streak. Her feet might be stinky, but at least she has the luck she needs to win, right?
Michael Jordan has been named MVP many times, and he was a superstar in the NBA throughout the ‘90s. But even though he had risen so high and gotten so far, he never forgot where he came from and where his love of basketball started. That is why he always made it a point to wear what he considered his lucky basketball shorts from UNC. He would wear these underneath his official Chicago Bulls uniform for every game in the NBA, and he felt that it was those shorts, regardless of how worn out and old they might have been, that helped him perform so well and helped him lead his team to so many victories.
Wade Boggs is a baseball Hall of Famer who has become known as one of the most superstitious players in all of professional sports. He had a few weird rituals that he would follow. For example, before each game, he would have a meal of chicken. He also would only start his batting practice when it was 5:17, and he would start his sprinting practice when it was 7:17. And when he was on deck, he would always write Chai, which is Hebrew for the word ‘life,’ in the sand, even though he was not Jewish.
In addition to Serena’s socks and Michael’s shorts, Tiger Woods is another athlete who has a superstition that revolves around his wardrobe choice on the day of a golf game. More specifically, he always made it a point to wear a red shirt whenever he would compete on a Sunday during the final round of a tournament. He started doing this because his mum told him to. She claims that red is Tiger’s power colour. Ever since he joined the pros in ’96, he has sported his famous red shirt as a result, but he has also stated that he has been wearing red on the final day of big events ever since he was in college, and he believes that his weird ritual has really worked for him.
Once you start to know the pre-game rituals of just a few of the biggest athletes of all time, you start to wonder what some of the other superstitious rituals are that other players are performing before every game. Whether or not these rituals work is up for debate and more likely based upon opinion rather than scientific fact, but if these superstitions give the players the confidence that they need to believe in themselves, does it really matter?