Superstitions in sports have always been commonplace in and off the field for as long as players have stepped on grass.
Whether you call it paranoid or just a ritual, some players just need their routines. Here are some of the United States Women’s National Team members' rituals (or superstitions) that get them prepped for game day:
Carli Lloyd – Superstitious or not, forward Carli Lloyd says she plays her best game when she knows the pressure of the eyes of her family and friends aren’t there to throw her off.
“I’ve been known as the player that doesn’t want anybody to come to their events,” she told The Inquirer. “It’s not a superstitious thing, it’s just something that works for me. In order for me to be at my best — and if I’m at my best, that essentially helps the team — I just want to go over there and do my thing.”
According to the United States Olympic Committee, the two-time gold medalist said that she realized her two Olympic victories in 2008 and 2012 happened when none of her family were in the stands.
But she’ll never forget her third-place finish at the World Cup in 2007 and second-place finish in 2011 when, coincidentally, her family was there cheering for her and her team.
Alex Morgan – Co-captain Alex Morgan likes to go against the grain, so it’s no surprise that she’s made 13 her lucky number. In a video for Team USA, Morgan said she found the superstitions toward the number strange and decided to make it her own.
Thirteen is the age she says she started playing club soccer and it was the first time she was given the number, and she’s worn it ever since.
“Kristine Lilly was definitely a huge part of me choosing the number 13,” said Morgan in an interview for Team USA. “She actually passed it down to me when she retired from the national team.”
It would make sense why the number is so important since Lilly is a two-time World Cup champion, winning in 1991 and 1999.
Megan Rapinoe – Call it what you will: 2015 Women's World Cup champ Megan Rapinoe certainly doesn’t use the word “superstition,” but she definitely has a ritual on game day.
Rapinoe told POPSUGAR that her diet is something she makes sure is consistent. According to the publication, she said there are certain things she absolutely must eat in order to get ready for a game, and her special diet is something she just can't deviate from.
The Rapinoe diet:
Breakfast: She has a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich consisting of two eggs, sautéed onions and spinach on an English muffin.
Lunch: Avocado toast with a chicken thigh and a side of fruit.
Dinner: Two chicken thighs, sweet potatoes and asparagus
Pregame snack: Energy bar or a handful of almonds.
Christen Press – Every player has their own ritual for preparing for game day: For some it may be relaxing and focusing on the game — for Christen Press, it’s yoga and shopping.
In a video for FOX Soccer, Press said she likes to start her day by meditating, having a good breakfast, doing some yoga and she prefers to wrap it all up with some shopping at the mall.
“If I lie in bed the whole day, I get more tense, I get stiff, and then I don’t show up loose to the stadium,” Press said.
Press said she also likes to make “a really big purchase” on game day “maybe like a fancy pair of shoes or a purse I would not normally splurge on.” She says if she plays well, scores, or it’s a good game, she gets to keep it.