As an athlete, you rely on your talent, the amount of hours you spend practicing, your teammates, the fans, and occasionally, pure luck. That’s why it isn’t so surprising that some incredible athletes have developed certain superstitions along the way. They honestly believe if they don’t stick to a certain regiment, they could easily fail. Check out these 18 sports stars and their rather odd superstitions.
The tennis legend that is Bjorn Borg had a rather odd Wimbledon-specific superstition. Basically every year, he would grow a beard before the tournament, and would NOT shave it off until afterwards. Granted, it was the 70s then, so it just looked like some kind of fashion statement. Borg did it every year and it looks like it worked, because he won Wimbledon in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, and 1980.
If you’re a West Ham fan then you know the legend that is the late Bobby Moore. Notoriously known as the England captain who won the World Cup in 1966 and forever one of the most loved and admired Hammers of all time. Turns out that Moore insisted that he be the last player in the changing rooms to put his shorts on before a game. Moore would actually wait until everyone else was dressed before pulling his own shorts on.
The Real Madrid forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, is one of the most famous soccer players in the world, and he’s one the wealthiest too, with an estimated net worth of $280 million. But did you know he’s a bit superstitious? Turns out that if he’s traveling to a game by plane, then he insists on being the very first to disembark. However, if he’s traveling by bus, he has to sit at the back and get off last. Also, when he approaches the pitch, he has to put his right foot onto the grass first. And finally, perhaps my favorite of his superstitions; he always does his hair at halftime, so that he doesn’t play both halves with the same hairstyle. Cray, cray wouldn’t you say?
Here’s a good one. Each and every time that this shooting guard stepped up to the line, he would wipe the right side of his face a grand total of three times before he shot the ball. If you think that’s crazy weird, did you know that his free throw percentage is 87.7? Not so funny anymore, huh?
This Dutch soccer player insisted on chewing gum before every game and spitting it out on the opposing team’s half before the game would start. How kind of him.
John Terry is the center back and caption of Chelsea soccer club, he’s deeply respected by his teammates and the fans love him. Here’s the kicker, Terry will use only one specific urinal in the team’s changing rooms. Doesn’t matter if others are free, he insists on using the one on the far right-hand side.
Laura Trott is the Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist, who happened to win the Junior World Championships with one wet sock. After this, she became convinced that she had to race with one wet sock before every race. Interesting to say the least.
The legend that is LeBron James has a few things he must do on game day. Such as rubbing chalk on his hands and throwing the powder in the air. I know, totally normal, right? However he’s got one more superstition that is slightly more, well, odd. He actually has secret handshakes with every single player on his team. No player ever has the same handshake, so not only does he shake each person’s hand in their super secret school girl way but he remembers each one perfectly. Weirdo. JK, we love you.
You might think that the baggy, long shorts that Michael Jordan wore were odd but there’s a good reason for that. You see, Jordan had a lucky pair of practice shorts back at his university, North Carolina Tar Heels. Obviously he couldn’t wear a different team’s uniform so he would wear the Tar Heels shorts underneath his Chicago Bulls ones. Ergo, the baggy look which suddenly became the norm for a lot of athletes.
Neil McKenzie is a fantastic cricketer whose superstition started because his teammates decided to pull a prank on him. Before a match, his teammates stuck his bat to the ceiling, McKenzie went out that day and played an absolutely incredible game. After this, he decided that taping his bat to the roof was the key to his success.
Pepe Reina is a former Liverpool goalkeeper (that’s soccer if you didn’t know). Reina always did two things on game day. One, the night before, he always ate a ham and cheese toast sandwich along with a couple of glasses of wine. And the day of the match, he always filled his car up to the brim with gas.
The King of Clay has a loooooong list of superstitions. Let’s begin, shall we? Before a match, he always crosses lines with his right foot; he arrives with one tennis racket in his hand; he eats his energy gels in a very specific way; he always jumps during the coin toss; he takes an ice cold shower; and he always lines up his water bottles in an orderly line, making sure all the labels point in the same direction. Phew.
Rajon Rondo’s superstition on game day sounds pretty normal, the man likes to shower before each and every game. However it’s the fact that he showers five times on a game day that is just ludicrous. What a waste of water, Rajon.
There is no greater tennis athlete out there than that of Serena Williams, she has 38 major titles to her belt and she’s not slowing down any time soon. With that being said, we really hate to tell you what her superstition is. When Williams hits a winning streak, she will continue to wear the same pair of socks, unwashed, for every single game, for fear of breaking her streak. Uhh. Well then.
Shaq is not known for his incredible and beautiful free throws, but rather his 50% accuracy rate. His insane superstition was never doing the same thing twice when he would miss a free throw. So whenever he’d miss a free throw, he’d change his footing, change the way he held the ball, or change the way that he released his shot. Let’s not forget that he would also chew on four pieces of gum before each game and then place it underneath his seat on the bench. Oh yeah, he would also wear two pairs of socks for each game and drive on the same streets to the arena every time he had a game. Yes, we have reached the end of the list for Shaq, I know, there were many.
Ratchford has a specific regiment before every game, he gets up at the same time, gets dressed in the same order, eats the same food at the same time, and everything is done in even numbers. Oh yeah, one more thing, five minutes before the warm-ups begin, Ratchford always asks a specific teammate to hand him his chewing gum.
If you’re anything of a golf fan, then you may have noticed that Tiger Woods always wears a red shirt on Sundays. It is a tradition that has been with him since he was just an amateur player. The university that he went to also played in red, this only cemented his belief that red is his lucky color.
Meet the highest goal scorer in Australian Football League history. However, even though Lockett was incredibly talented, he would get so nervous before a game that he wouldn’t eat. No matter what. Lockett also insisted on using the same Adidas kit bag of his. He would refuse to enter the grounds if he didn’t have his lucky bag. Even when he signed a sponsorship agreement with Puma, he flat out refused to get rid of his lucky bag.