Superstitionism - The Psychology of Sport
Superstition disrupts athletes’ psychology and exists at the heart of their
core beliefs, just as winning and losing are often said to be caused by luck; but what if luck is a figment of
imagination? What if there is no such thing as luck? Where does that leave superstition which forms such an
integral part of how many athletes think?
What caused football pundit Pat Nevin to balk at one of the most surreal experiences he had ever witnessed in the not-so-beautiful game? What left former football manager Harry Redknapp sceptical of a pre-match prayer meeting before facing the might of Manchester United F.C? What caused the media to coin the phrase ‘Freaky Fridays’ to describe how supreme performances by elite golfer Rory McIlroy on Thursdays, regularly deteriorated the following day?
How does the fear of ‘Juju’ magic reportedly experienced by Togo International and former Arsenal F.C and Tottenham F.C footballer Emmanuel Adebayor, differ from the Irish ‘Juju’ magical hex infamously described as the Mayo curse? Is it purely a matter of demographics, is there such a thing as the ‘Commentator’s Curse’ and is God a superstition? Why are some athletes beaten before they begin, and the fates of winners and also-rans seemingly decided before bursting out of the starting blocks?
How you think can determine whether you are meteoric or mediocre, but this is not quite sport as you might imagine. Instead something far deeper is shaping your unique sporting genius, and that something is core superstitious beliefs. So hold onto your hat and open your mind as Superstitionism – The Psychology of Sport leads an engaging and enlightening exploration into athletes’ psychology before a whistle is blown or starting pistol fired.
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