Friday, August 8, 2014


Most of us know the common superstitions like Friday the 13th is a unlucky day, bringing a rabbits foot along with you is good luck, or opening an umbrella in a house brings you bad luck, and trust me the list goes on and on. (Here is a link of a some interesting ones if anyone wants to check some out)

But what exactly is a superstition? Well states that a superstition is a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like. So for all we know these superstitions aren't even actually doing anything for us, or are they?

Lets take a look at professional athletes. Every time they step out onto a field or court perfection is expected of them, not only from everyone watching, but from themselves as well. With a job that can be so extremely mentally and physically challenging how do they seem to amaze us every time we get to see them perform? Most athletes will say that they make sure that they are calm and focused before any event or game, and guess what helps them get so focused, superstitions. Take Michael Phelps for instance, before every race he walks up to the block, takes his headphones out, swings his arms back and forth three times before he is ready to go, and that routine never changes. Another superstar, like Tiger Woods, always wears a red shirt in the final rounds of golf tournaments because when he was younger his mother taught him that the color red was his power color. Being that these two mentioned are so dominant in their sport, could this mean that their superstitions actually work and are helpful?

Many psychologists have done studies related to superstitions and sports and almost every time superstitions have triumphed. Studies show that when players truly show belief in what ever routine or ritual they perform, they improve their confidence, which then translates into real-world differences in persistence. With a job that is always changing and requiring thinking, players need some sort of persistence and comfort in their life, this is why superstitions are not only a common thing in the sporting world, but they are also a positive thing.

Here is another link I found with some pretty cool athlete rituals and superstitions.

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