Some Of Sports Most Bizarre Pre-Game Rituals And Superstitions
From wearing a certain colour, to sleeping in their opponent’s uniform (seriously) - you'd be surprised by some of the specific routines these athletes follow whenever they play!
And for the superstitious athlete, the bigger the game the more important the ritual!
Tigers forward Jack Riewoldt always has to be last out of the rooms and last to step out on to the ground and occasionally will belt out a tune in the rooms just to hype himself up.
Pre-game prep is about the food for Adelaide Crows star Tom Lynch who has to have the same risotto (made by his mate) and a Crunch chocolate the night before a game.
Then for game day breakfast he always goes to the same place and orders poached eggs.
At away games, he always searches the ground for an AFL record and has to complete the spot the difference puzzle at the back – no matter how long it takes him.
Watch the video:
For Port Adelaide lads Robbie Gray and Jared Polec it’s all about the pre-game meals. Exactly three hours and 15 minutes before the game, Gray has two banana and honey sandwiches on wholemeal bread, accompanied by half a muffin. The ritual started in 2013 when he ate that exact meal before a game and played a ripper.
And for Polec, he has to have a bowl of gnocchi the night before a game - a takeaway meal from the same restaurant.
Even at away games the club orders in gnocchi in the hotel just for him! It’s a superstition he’s kept since making the move from Brisbane Lions to the Power in 2014.
Bulldogs midfielder Liam Picken takes match day very seriously and has a weekly routine before his games. No heavy lifting or housework, no talk of footy in the house and no visitors on game day. He spends an excessive amount of time at the beach, and his wife Annie even gets kicked out of the bed the night before the game!
Former team mate Adam Cooney says he doesn’t think Picken has missed a training session in his life, including the time his twin girls were born 13 weeks premature and he didn’t tell anyone at the club, in fear of distracting the team’s focus for that week.
Australian netball star Laura Geitz has a coffee one hour before a match, then straps her left ankle, followed by her right ankle, then she follows up by putting on the left shoe then right shoe. The order is very specific!
Australian Wallabies legend and Australian Rugby Union Hall of Famer David Campese is one of the sport’s most accomplished players. Despite his unpredictable style of play, he had one particular habit that he always followed: in every Test appearance he made, he would always be the last man to run out onto the pitch.
Teammates of rugby star Lachlan Maranta from the Queensland Reds think he has some pretty strange pre-game rituals. He always tips his drink over in front of himself, then stands weirdly close facing a wall before he goes out to play. Maranta then sprays sticky spray on his hands and high fives Jack Reed!
Former Australian captain Steve Waugh, one of the most capped players in cricket history, was known to play every game with a red handkerchief. This handkerchief was given by his grandfather and he always kept it in his pocket while playing.
Tennis champion Rafael Nadal is known for his severe OCD on the court. He has a long list of weird habits during matches, such as the infamous adjustment of the shirt, wiping sweat from the nose then the hair tuck routine before every point.
Other habits include always pointing the label of his water bottles towards his end of the court, being the first to jump during a coin toss and the last to stand up after rest breaks, every single time without fail. And there's more! Have a look at the video below:
After leading the North Carolina Tar
Heels to a national championship in 1982, Michael Jordan believed that it was all thanks to the shorts he played in! So from then on he wore his University of North Carolina shorts underneath his Chicago Bulls uniform for every game because he thought they brought him good luck.
Serena Williams' superstition might be a bit gross, but hey she is one of the most dominant athletes of all time! Her secret? Wearing the same pair of socks from the first, to the last round! She also ties her shoes in the same way before each match and on her first serve, she has to bounce the ball exactly five times, and then twice on her second serve. She has even blamed not following her exact routine for some of her major losses.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida and karate master is an avid believer in the health benefits of drinking ... urine. He drinks a glass full each day as he believes it cleanses the body and contains minerals, hormones and elements that bind moisture to protein.
English Premier League legend John Terry likes to keep everything consistent - from making sure he urinates in the furthest urinal to the right before every game to sitting in the same seat on the team bus, listening to the same music and parking his car in the same spot in the team parking lot. Terry is yet to give an explanation as to why, but there is definitely a good one.
Why does Tiger Woods wear a red shirt every single Sunday? Because his mum told him to - “I wear red on Sundays because my mum thinks that that’s my power colour, and you know you should always listen to your mum.”
The iconic pre-game ritual that was the Lebron James chalk clap, meant much more than just tossing chalk in the air. It was a routine that formed a special connection between him and his fans. He captured the attention of the entire stadium, as they waited quietly for the iconic moment when he grabs the powder, rubs his hands together and tosses the chalk in the air - and when he did the crowd would erupt – he’s pumped, the fans are pumped and it’s game time!
Former NFL defensive tackle John Henderson had quite a unique way of getting pumped up before each game. He would have his team trainer slap him in the face as hard as possible to get his blood pumping before taking the field - watch the bizarre video below:
Many people bite their fingernails unintentionally when they are under stress but former NBA point guard Mike Bibby adopted a more sophisticated way - he trims his nails when he is anxious on the bench!
It is always smart to get to know your opponent before you go up against them, but former NBA point guard Jason Terry had a strange way of doing so - he slept in his opponents shorts the night before each game. He developed the superstition after he wore his opponents shorts before winning the 1997 nationals and didn't stop since. Adding to that, he also has to eat chicken two hours before a game.
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