Bring up a mental image of Maria Sharapova when she’s in between points. What’s she doing? If you watch enough professional tennis, you know she has her back turned to the court and she’s fiddling with her racquet strings.
And Rafael Nadal before he serves? Even casual tennis fans are familiar with his elaborate pre-serve choreography–a tug on the shorts followed by an unvarying sequence of touches (left shoulder, right shoulder, nose, left ear, nose, right ear.)
What’s the point of these quirks? Are they just silly superstition? Continue reading “Ritual and Superstition”