Written by Chelsea Nkwodimmah

Listening to that one song before a top set. Putting your left wrist wrap on before your right. Wearing that lucky pair of deadlift socks for meet day. It’s no doubt that hours of hard training go into being an amazing athlete. But for a special breed of competitors, a little superstitious reasoning is the secret weapon. Michael Jordan rocked his Carolina blue and white UNC short shorts underneath his Chicago Bulls uniform in every NBA game. Rafael Nadal always takes a cold shower 45 minutes before a tennis match. Babe Ruth never let his teammates borrow one of his bats, insisting that every bat had a definite number of hits in it.

From the outside looking in, superstitions may seem irritational, having no actual or direct impact on our performance or success. However, they also allow for us to create consistency and mindfulness around our training and/or meet day. Superstitions ease our anxiety. They make us comfortable…and being comfortable makes us more confident in what we’re capable of both mentally and physically.

Superstitions usually begin following a particularly amazing or subpar performance after which we try to establish some external cause and effect. They are created almost by accident but quickly become requirements. We attempt to recreate the same or similar conditions as those during that great meet that we had. Whether or not our superstitions get us the results we want…if we hit that PR attempt, go 949, or bomb out of a meet, we still revert back to them.

The power of the lucky charm is definitely not to be disputed.

Comment on what are some of your meet day or training superstitions?


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