A lot goes into being a pro athlete—hard training, raw talent, the ability to perform under pressure. But for some stars, a little superstitious reasoning is the added edge they need to get into the zone.
Whether it's drinking urine or talking to goal posts, these 10 athletes have used weird rituals to help take their game to the next level.
10. Michael Jordan
You wouldn't think the greatest professional basketball player of all time would rely on superstition, but even Michael Jordan himself was known for a specific quirk. While leading the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships during his legendary career, the five-time MVP wore his University of North Carolina shorts under his uniform in every game. Jordan led UNC to the NCAA Championships in 1982 and believed the mesh marvels brought him luck. In order to cover his lucky pair, Jordan began wearing longer shorts, which inspired a trend in the NBA.
9. Björn Borg
Unlike the other athletes on this list, Swedish tennis legend Bjö rn Borg had superstitions that related to one specific event—Wimbledon. Known as the Ice Man for his steely confidence on the court, Borg would always prepare for the annual tournament by growing a beard and wearing the same Fila shirt. These quirks helped him net an amazing five straight Wimbledon titles from 1976 through 1980. Surprisingly, the Stockholm native's "lucky beard" has become one of sports most popular superstitions and has been adopted by many in the NFL and NHL, including the 2009 Detroit Red Wings and Ben Roethlisberger during the Steelers 2006 Championship season.
8. Kevin Rhomberg
While this left fielder's 41-game stint with the 1982 Cleveland Indians was largely forgettable, his unusual quirks left behind a lasting legacy. According to a long list of pros who played with him, Rhomberg had the compulsion to touch someone if they touched him. Word of this tic quickly spread through the majors, making life a living hell for Rhomberg. Players would touch Rhomberg and run, sending him into panic. In fact, an umpire once had to halt a game between New York and Cleveland, because Yankees players refused to stop touching Rhomberg.
7. Serena Williams
While her on-court aggressiveness and competitive nature have given her a reputation as one of the greatest and most feared female tennis players of all time, Serena Williams believes much of her winning ways are the result of closely followed routines. For the 29-year-old, these quirks include bringing her shower sandals to the court, tying her shoelaces a specific way and bouncing the ball five times before her first serve and twice before her second. The four-time Wimbledon champ will even wear the same pair of socks during a tournament run. Williams is so set in her superstitions, she has chalked up major losses to not following her own routine correctly.