We all believe in superstitions regardless of our age and the game we play. Athletes are also obsessed with various habitual actions before the game, though only a few would admit to it.
From basketball, tennis, baseball, and soccer, we bring you famous athletes who bare it all to share their extra acts before the game. Here are what your idols are secretly doing behind the scenes.
1) Touch me and I’ll touch you back
Kevin Rhomberg, former left fielder in MLB was always teased by his teammates because of his superstitions. They used to touch him and run away which made Rhomberg panic. Rhomberg believes that if someone touches him, he needs to touch the person back. He made no comments as to why but it was just how it had to be.
2) Keep wearing UNC shorts from the 80s
NBA superstar Michael Jordan had this unusual superstition. In his whole NBA career, Jordan kept wearing his UNC (University of North Carolina) shorts under his NBA shorts. Jordan graduated from UNC in 1984.
3) Last to appear on ice rink
One of the many superstitions of NHL player Jaromir Jagr is to be the last player of his team to appear on the ice rink. The Czech ice hockey player’s superstition seems effective as he became the leading all-time point scorer.
4) Drinking two-liter Mountain Dew and chewing 12 plastic straws
NBA player Caron Butler had to finish half of the 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew before the start of every game. he also had to finish the drink at halftime. Plus, Butler had to chew up to 12 plastic straws in a game.
5) No to gloves; yes to pee
6) No hat washing for the entire season
So we want to know this, how many hats does Steve Kline have to wear in an entire season? Regardless of the numbers, this MLB relief pitcher never got his hat washed during a season. It could be his strategy to cool down his head and focus his mind.
7) Slap him hard in the face
John Henderson, former football defensive tackle, used to ask his trainer to slap him as hard as possible before every game. As a result, the trainer would always hope that Henderson, a 6’7” man with 335 lbs weight, won’t hit him back.
8) Places drinks in exactly the same positions every game
Always at exactly the same positions every game, this is how Rafael Nadal arranges his recovery drink and water before every game. This could be an effective strategy as Nadal becomes one of the greatest tennis players today.
9) Bat, run, write and indulge
These are parts of former American baseball third baseman Wade Boggs. At exactly 5:17, Boggs will have the batting practice and run sprints at exactly 7:17. Before he bats in a game, Boggs writes the Hebrew word “chai” in the batter’s box. Lastly, he indulges himself in a chicken meal before every single game.
10) Puts on pads in exact order every time
Putting pads exactly at the same order at all times is a habit for ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky. The order starts put his left shin pad, followed by left stocking, right shin pad, right stocking, pants, left skate, right skate, shoulder pads, elbow pads, and jersey with right side tucked into his pants. So, what if Gretzky makes a mistake in the process? He’ll probably take off everything and start all over again.
11) Red shirt on Sundays
12) Wearing the same socks throughout the tournament
13) Sleeps on the opponents jersey nights before the game
Jason Terry could possibly be the NBA player with the most jersey shorts for other teams. Yes, because Terry needs every short for his superstition. Nights before the next game, Jason Terry sleeps with the jersey short of their next opposing team. We are not sure whose number is in each of the opposing team’s jersey but Terry surely does not sleep in one jersey short for the whole season; the short of his team.
14) One sock wet during the event
Laura Trott wants it wet. The English track and road cyclist has been competing with one sock wet since winning the Junior World Championship. The habit seems effective since Trott became an Olympic gold medalist.
15) A conversation with the goal posts
The goal posts are the goalkeepers best friends. This is why former Canadian ice hockey goalie Patrick Roy talks to goal posts. It could be Roy’s way of making friends with the posts so it won’t accept any goals.
16) First to disembark by plane; last to get off by bus
Cristiano Ronaldo is not exempt when it comes to superstitions. The Real Madrid superstar will always be the first to disembark if the team travels by plane for a game. If they travel by bus, Ronaldo sits at the back and will be the last to get off. Well, nobody cares what Ronaldo does in the bus before he gets off.
17) Repeat everything
Goran Ivanisevic had the tradition to repeat everything he did when he won a tournament. This includes wearing the same clothes, eating at the same restaurant, talking to the same people hoping that the win may also happen again. The retired Croatian tennis player became the only player to win the men’s singles title at Wimbledon as a wildcard. At least Ivanisevic does not include competing with the same opponent. But then, we worry if he has to play in another place, will he still eat at the same restaurant?
18) Obsession to number 3
He wears number 33 on his jersey. He married his wife on November 3 at 3:33pm. He also makes practice swings in multiples of 3, sets his alarm for 33 past the hour. There is also one time when he purchased tickets for 33 disadvantaged children who seated at section 333 at the stadium. Well, nobody can do it except Canadian right fielder in MLB, Larry Walker.
19) Sex before the game
No other athletes admitted to this ritual except Russian ice hockey player Alexander Ovechkin. He believes it brings out the best in him during the game. If their team wins, let us all congratulate Ovechkin’s partner for a job well done.
20) Kiss your goalie’s bald head
In 1998, France won the World Cup in soccer. The success may be attributed to Laurent Blanc’s unusual acts. Blanc kissed the bald head of the team’s goalie Fabien Barthez before every match. So which helped them win, the kiss or the bald head?
21) Clipping fingernails on the bench
When you’re not on the court to playing the game, you got to find something to do on the bench. Mike Bibby, a former NBA point guard, clips his fingernails for as long as he is on the bench. In fact, a trainer will hand him the clippers during timeouts when he’s out from the court.
22) Eats two chocolate chip cookies before every game
23) Gives his stick a break
24) Uses the same urinal always
The urinal on the far right-hand side of the toilets must never be out of order. Yes, because it is where John Terry, the captain of Chelsea FC, has to urinate always. Staffs at the Stamford Bridge Stadium must have known this to avoid any problems.