All of us have our own ideas of what’s true and what can be chalked up to superstition—but when it comes to their gameplay, however, many soccer players choose to err on the side of caution and stick to their superstitions and good luck charms, no matter how silly they may seem.
Below, we’re taking a look at some of the most common superstitions soccer players follow. While you read, ask yourself—do you subscribe to one or several of these traditional superstitions?
Lucky streak beard
If a player is growing a beard (or even their hair) during a successful match or two, they may be less likely to cut it afterward in order to keep the lucky streak going. While this can require more upkeep and even accessories like headbands to keep the mane under control, it’s all worth it to the players who subscribe to this superstition.
New game, same gear
Another example of players avoiding change during a successful streak can be found in the clothes and gear they wear to a game. Many players have a pair of lucky socks or cleats, but others take this common good luck charm to the next level by donning the same shoes, socks or other gear every game during a streak in order to keep the success coming. This may lead to a less-than-fresh smelling locker room, of course, but that’s just the price of success for many players.
The order in which a team sits on the team bus or exits a locker room is extremely important… according to some teams and players. Some players will even insist on being the first or last to enter or exit a space in order to ensure success for the team during gameplay. These players believe in the “order of things,” and don’t want to mess with a formula that works.
Like many players, you might have a small warmup tradition you perform before every game—that you secretly believe ensures your success. This can be virtually anything, from a favorite song or inspirational video that gets you motivated and ready to go.
Locker room musts
Upon entering the locker room, some players like to stick to very specific locker room “must-dos” before the game starts. They may use the same shower or bathroom stall, for example, or always opt for the same snack or sports drink before heading out to the field.
Finally, many players will perform a small action or behavior every time they or their team scores a goal—anything from retying their laces, touching the goalpost, vocalizing their thanks… whatever it takes to ensure that they keep making goals!
Not every soccer player believes in the power or validity of their superstitions—but they often follow them anyway, just to be safe! And that makes sense. Even if the superstitions themselves—like double tying one’s laces or being the last to the leave the locker room—don’t have an effect on a player’s gameplay, they may give the player enough confidence to play their best.