Known for their incredible focus and self-belief, olympic athletes can teach us a thing or two about motivation and achieving goals. Many also adopt highly superstitious rituals and practices ahead of key events to guarantee success – here are some of our favourites…
Laura Trott, cyclist (GB)
Laura is said to have accidentally stood on a wet towel before winning the Junior World championships – she now has to do this each time she competes.
Serena Williams, tennis player (USA)
Serena supposedly employs many rituals ahead of a match. These include tying her shoelaces a certain way, as well as bouncing the ball five times before her first serve and twice before her second.
Jessica Ennis, athlete (UK)
Jessica praises superstitions for helping to achieve the right mindset – she is said to use a lucky tape to measure her starting blocks.
Tom Daley, diver (GB)
Tom credits meditation app Headspace for helping him to focus on his goals, saying it helps him to relax his breathing and to stay present – he has used it every day this year so far (and to great success, given his recent Bronze medal win!)
Kayla Harrison, judo (USA)
Kayal wears ‘lucky’ socks that were given to her by her grandmother – she says that rituals make her feel comfortable, being comfortable makes her confident and confidence helps her to win.
Rafa Nadal, tennis player (ES)
Famous for having countless rituals, Nadal insists on having a freezing cold shower before each game. He is even particular about exactly where his water bottles are placed on court.
Alex Danson, hockey (GB)
It’s reported that Alex spins her hockey stick exactly 15 times before each game!