The Most Bizarre Athlete Superstitions (#2 is head-scratcher)
Routines, Habits, and Strange Athlete Superstitions that will have you scratching your head.
I got caught in the YouTube rabbit hole this past weekend and noticed Rafael Nadal’s odd routine before he serves the ball.
It sent me on a mission to find the weirdest athlete superstitions.
And I found a lot. Maybe even of your favorite athletes.
People are weird (me included) and we each have our own unique quirks.
For example, my only superstition is not having any superstitions.
Many of these tactics you’ll read about below are confusing on how anyone could have such strange routines — thinking it will actually impact their performance on the game.
Top 5 Strangest Athlete Superstitions
Former New York Mets pitcher Turk Wendell was a full-blown maniac.
A shortlist of his quirks:
always leaping over the baselines when walking to the mound
chewing black licorice while pitching
brushing his teeth between innings
wearing a wild animals tooth necklace
asking the New York Mets to make his contract for $9,999,999.99 in honor of his uniform number during negotiations.
Here’s a video on Turk:
Patrick Roy was a really good goalie, but he did have some strange superstitions.
Before every game, Pat would skate backwards towards the net before turning around at the last second— an act he believed made the goal shrink.
During the game, he would talk to the posts, thanking them when a puck was deflected and often touching them.
Video on Roy’s superstitions and other NHL players:
3. Serena Williams
The more I researched superstitions — the more I found that many of the greats had some form of a superstition. Serena Williams fits that category.
She believes many of her winning ways are the result of closely followed routines.
Some of her quirks include:
bringing her shower sandals to the court
tying her shoelaces a specific way
bouncing the ball five times before her first serve
same pair of socks the entire tournament
Maybe that’s why she doesn’t take losing well.
I know Les Miles isn’t an athlete, but this superstition was too bizarre for me not to include it.
Former LSU coach Les Miles use to eat grass off the field during warmups.
Miles was quoted saying his pre-game ritual "humbles him as a man" and that "it lets him know that he’s part of the field and part of the game."
Whatever floats your boat.
To be honest, I always thought “The Jet” Jason Terry was a goofball who wore high socks as his own unique brand image.
I was right about the goofball part and half-right about the socks.
Some of Jason Terry’s quirks include:
eating chicken before games
wearing five pairs of socks while playing
That’s nothing compared to his main superstition.
The night before every game, Terry would go to bed while wearing the shorts of the next day’s opposing team. As you can imagine — this led to some interesting stories and late-night easter egg hunts for a pair of shorts.
Weirdest superstition you know of:
Like I mentioned before, my only superstition is not having any superstitions.
However, I have witnessed some weird ones during my athletic career.
One of my teammates use to tie his shoes. Untie them. Take them off. Walk around in what I think was 4 circles. And then put them on again only to squeeze the life out of them with his next tie.
Another one of my teammates use to eat a pack of Scooby-Doo fruit snacks before every game.
I sure you’ve witnessed some weird superstitions, routines, habits - or whatever you want to call them.
Whatever it takes to perform your best I guess.
Hope you had a nice weekend.
I’m dropping a piece on Wednesday about the Business of March Madness you won’t want to miss!
Get after it this week,