Mind Over Sports

Superstition and Sports

Posted on: December 14, 2006

wade-boggsAn article appeared in the May 27, 2005 issue of USA Today stating that major league baseball player Wade Boggs consumed chicken at 2pm on game days throughout his 18-year career. (When he was inducted into the Cooperstown Hall of Fame, he thanked his elderly father who was sitting in the front row, but shouldn’t he have also thanked Kentucky Fried Chicken?)

On the last day of events he plays in, Tiger Woods wears a red shirt. Swedish great Bjorn Borg never shaved during the Wimbledon fortnight, which he won from 1976-80. Tennis star James Blake wore the same Nike baseball cap without washing it for three weeks in a 14-match winning streak.

An article in The New Yorker Magazine explained how Chinese parents are superstitious to the point where they hesitate to praise their children, because they believe pride brings on misfortune. One has to wonder if NBA star Yao Ming was ever praised by his parents while growing up in China? Some athletes believe a particular jersey number is important to success. If they have the number, they have extra confidence that enhances performance. In baseball, no one speaks to a pitcher who is in the midst of a no-hitter and often they won’t even mention it to a teammate. I once worked with a NCAA Division I men’s basketball team. Halfway through their season they had a dismal 3-15 record. The coach allowed me to take them into a room where they proceeded to “unload” all their issues in the privacy of a team meeting, which was followed by visualization exercises. They won 8 out of their final 10 games and the coach thought it was because he wore the same under shorts every day, without laundering them once.

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N. V. I.
National Visualization Institute

Learn how to visualize, resulting in increased performance.

CONTACT MARV FREMERMAN
PHONE: 417-773-2695

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