How Do Sports Stars Prepare for their Big Games?

Even if you have any special preparations you make before taking to the court or the pitch, or habits that just mustn’t be broken, you can rest assured that elite sportspeople can almost certainly out-do you when it comes to these too.

So even if you insist on lacing up your left boot first or never leaving the dressing room with your lucky coin in your pocket, rest assured that you’ll seem like the picture of normality compared with these examples.

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Tiger Woods

As the most successful golfer ever you’d imagine that it was talent alone that had helped Woods to amass a personal fortune estimated to be at least $700 million.

But he didn’t get there he is today without always insisting on preparing for a Sunday’s play by slipping on a red shirt.

Why? Well here’s what he’s had to say about it: “ I’ve worn red ever since my college days basically, or junior golf days – big events on the last day.

I just stuck with it out of superstition – and it worked”.

Johann Cruyff

Dutch footballing legend wasn’t just famous for creating a unique way to outsmart defenders he also had a unique ritual before any game. He would spit out his chewing gum in the opponents’ half, confident that this would lead to victory.

He became even more convinced that this was important when, playing for Ajax in a European Cup Final against AC Milan, he forgot his gum.

Ajax went on to lose 4-1.

Laura Trott

The last thing Team GB cyclist Laura Trott does before getting on her bike before a big race is to step on a soaking wet towel with just one foot.

She then completes the race with one wet sock.

This superstition dates back to the time when she won her first Junior European Cycling Championship having accidentally got one of her socks soaking wet just before competing.

Jack Russell

The Gloucestershire and England wicketkeeper who played in a total of 54 test matches between 1989 and 1998 was famous for his superstitions and eccentric habits.

On the way to matches he would drive himself wearing a sleeping bag with the end cut open so his feet could touch the pedals and so his legs and back would keep warm.

He also always wore the same, increasingly scruffy, sun hat from his first ever match in 1981 until he retired in 2004.

The Ecuador Football Team

The final example comes not from an individual, but a whole team.

For the 2006 World Cup the Ecuador Football Team travelled with a witch doctor top banish evil spirits from the stadia where they were playing. For the first time ever, they reached the knockout stage of the tournament.

Find the infographic below for more sports star superstitions.


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Author: Dexter Sinistri

Dexter Sinistri is a famously centrist writer who has worked as a Hollywood correspondent for a number of leading publications since 2005. Though once a photographer, Mr. Sinistri struck out as a writer on all things celebrity, and he likes to consider himself a tremendous asset to Glossy News, though by most accounts, he has fallen somewhat short of this effort.