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Perceived control: can superstitions boost athletic performance?

Always exercise responsibly and safely. Ideally under the guidance of a trained fitness and/or medical professional, who can match the exercise or sports regimen to your present level of fitness.

Irrational as they may be, we all have a superstition or two. Whether it’s a lucky pair of pants or an aversion to Friday the 13th… superstitions are important to us as they can lend meaning and a sense of power in life.

Interestingly, many athletes, especially pro athletes, are well-known for being superstitious! What could explain that?

This video takes a look at the superstitions that tennis player Dominic Thiem, snowboarder Anna Gasser and high-diver Jonathan Paredes adhere to, in order to weigh up if the athletes do perform better because of them – if only from a perceived spike in their sense of control.

View the original video here.

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