Superstitions in sports: If it works, it must be true

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO)-- Superstitions have always been a part of sports.

"Every time I got to the field I would have to do the same tee routine every day," Pittsburgh Pirates 2017 draft pick Bligh Madris says. "If I didn't do that it would feel really weird and my swing didn't feel right."

The pros aren't the only ones.

"I wear my pregame underwear," sophomore linebacker Joseph Alejo says. "And I also have chocolate chip pancakes every morning as my breakfast."

The athletes on the Western Slope have their fair share of superstitions.

"I have to put on my right sock first then my left sock,” CMU baseball junior first baseman Will Dixon says. “Then my right shoe then my left shoe. Then tie my right shoe, tie my left shoe."

There are studies that link superstitions to an athlete's performance.

"There's a lot of current research out there that shows that there is some benefit to athletic performance to superstitions," CMU head athletic trainer and sports psychology consultant Josh Fullmer says. "There are so many things that are uncontrollable when it comes to sports and game day and things like that whether it's weather, how the officials are calling the games whatever the case may be. But their routine is something they can control."

More than not coaches are ones who believe there isn't a correlation between ritual and performance.

"I don’t think it depends on the flip of a coin. I don’t think it depends on a lucky rabbit's foot," CMU football head coach Russ Martin says. "It depends on our preparation and us executing the game plan.”

The athletes think otherwise.

"If I haven't done the normal routine then I just feel all sorts of messed up and I’m going to have a horrible day at the baseball field," Dixon says.

It all comes down to peace of mind.

"If an athlete has that positive thought process whether it's a lucky charm, whether it's a lucky shirt, socks, whatever that may be, I think that helps put athletes in the frame of mind to be able to succeed,” Fullmer says.

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