Spain's Rafael Nadal bites the trophy as he celebrates winning his tenth French Open title against Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka in three sets, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1, during their men's final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Sunday, June 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Spain's Rafael Nadal bites the trophy as he celebrates winning his tenth French Open title against Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka in three sets, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1, during their men's final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Sunday, June 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena) Christophe Ena

Will you be whipping out your lucky undies this weekend?

FROM special undies to viking hair, from Vicks VapoDrops to abstinence from sex - these are just some of the secret tricks employed to give sport stars an edge on match day.

It would seem sports stars and superstitions go hand-in-hand.

It's grand final weekend locally, so we thought we'd take a look at some of the ways competitors try to ensure a win.

One women's AFL team have a few superstitions - my favourite has to be the hairstyles. The girls twist their hair into braids and cornrows like Viking women, turning them into fearsome warriors to scare the bejesus out of the competition.

There are lucky socks, the right undies in case you lose your shorts ... it can happen ... boots need to be tied in the right order, and a special routine in the lead up to a goal kick - some girls tuck their mouth guard in their bra first, others find it mandatory to test the wind direction with a tuft of grass before the all-important kick.

One of their male counterparts simply can not go on the field without first clearing the nose with some Vicks VapoDrops.

It is all essential.

One footy player always insisted on a specific white tape to strap his shin guards in place. He did it once, and they won... so it became a thing.

For a union player, a bacon and egg roll and a coke is the must-have breakfast before any game.

Some popular themes have emerged in my research. Socks, and how you wear them is terribly important.

They must be put on in the correct order to guarantee success - the same with boots - and the socks must always be either up, or down. Always.

Facial hair has also become a guarantor of sporting success.

Many have vowed not to shave during the finals in case it might strip them of their sporting prowess - a la Samson and Delilah.

It's a tricky business, winning...

But the most startling statistic to emerge from this in depth research is that abstinence from sex before a big game is actually a thing.

No wonder there's often a bit of biff during a game ...

The world's quirkiest sport superstitions

Rafael Nadal: In the tennis world Rafael Nadal is well-known for a number of quirks during a game.

Hi socks must line up exactly, he bites his trophies instead of kissing them, he never steps on lines on court, his water bottles must be lined up precisely, and he dislodges his underpants before every serve.

Jason Giambi: The Yankees player apparently wore a metallic g-string to beat a form slump. By all reports, it wasn't too comfortable when running for second base.

Serena Williams: The talented tennis superstar doesn't change her socks for the duration of a tournament. Given she often features in the finals, that's some serious odour-eater power needed.

Richie Ashburn: The baseballer sleeps with his bats.

Patrick Roy: The legendary ice hockey goal tender was well known for striking up a conversation with his goal posts. He would thank them for their help if the puck hit the posts and ask them how they were. He said it was "because they are my friends".

Lyoto Machida: The UFC Light Heavyweight Champion drinks his own urine, believing it to be a natural medicine that cleanses his body.

Les Miles: The football coach has a habit of eating some of the grass on the field before every single game and when he is stressed. Of the habit, he said: "I have a little tradition that humbles me as a man, that lets me know that I'm a part of the field and part of the game."

Nascar: Peanuts in the shell are not welcome at the track when Nascar are in town. The superstition dates back to the 1930s when some hapless fool from the pit crew had the audacity to leave peanuts in the shell on three cars. The cars consequently crashed, and the rest, as they say, is history.



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