Weirdest sportsman superstitions

We all know that superstitions are popular within the sporting world, with many players sticking steadfastly to their own particular lucky rituals or quirky charms.

As you can imagine, these are often a little peculiar. This means that we often don’t discover the superstitious habits of these figures until after their retirement. After all, many are perhaps well-aware that their beliefs are a little unusual.

Here are some of our favourite superstitions from a range of different sports – showing that luck is an issue taken seriously by players from every field.

Patrick Roy

The National Hockey League is already famous for its colourful and eccentric personalities, ensuring that you’re bound to encounter some interesting lucky rituals wherever you go.

One of our favourites though is Patrick Roy, one of the league’s greatest ever goaltenders. He openly admitted that he’d often have fully-fledged conversations with the goal posts during professional matches.

When people enquired about why he did this, he always gave the most logical answer possible: “Because they’re my friends.” And it was obviously a rewarding friendship, as he became enormously successful throughout his career.

Goran Ivanisevic

This Croatian tennis champion had a wide range of superstitious rituals – some of which were fairly peculiar – such as never stepping over the lines on the court while he played.

However, his best remembered quirk was a little more time-consuming. After winning a tournament game, he’d spend the following day doing absolutely everything which he had done the day before – such as wearing the same clothes, eating the same foods and talking to the same friends.

It wasn’t particularly fun though, as it later complained that it often became rather boring. Not exactly a surprise!

Sergio Goycocheca

But perhaps one of the strangest superstitions belongs to the football keeper Sergio Goycocheca. Before every penalty shot taken against him, Sergio would actually urinate slightly on the football pitch.

Why didn’t anyone think to stop him? In Sergio’s own words: “I was very subtle.”

But whether or not you believe in superstitions, there are often times when we feel like luck is on our side. And if this is the case, it’s likely that The Health Lottery should be at the top of your agenda.

Top 5 Health Benefits of Golf

Though golf is indeed one of the most popular sports in the world (ranked 8th by amount of fans), it also ranks as possibly one of the most underrated sports in the UK.

There are great reasons therefore, why you should take up the sport yourself and get out onto the green. Although most people think the sport is quite expensive, thanks to community golf courses and online stores such as Direct Golf, you can get into the sport quite cheaply.

Here are the top 5 health reasons for why you should take up golf yourself

5. It’s good for mental health

Like any exercise, golf is simply brilliant for mental health as the brain releases endorphins after playing, which elevates mood and reduces the perception of pain.

The effect in fact, is very similar to that of morphine, as the chemicals also act as sedatives, though unlike morphine – it does not lead to addiction or dependence.

Tyson Alexander of Livestrong.com says that:

“Endorphins also make you feel happier and more relaxed when their levels increase. Understanding the different ways to increase your endorphin levels may help you find effective ways of dealing with stress.”

Golf of course, is but one way to elevate your endorphins.

4. It’s good for your bones

Any weight bearing exercise offers to strengthen your bones with consistent play, and golf is no different to this.

If you were to play just twice a week, and carried your own clubs through an 18-hole course, you would create lean muscle mass alongside a strong and healthy skeleton.

Another benefit of regular golf playing is the prevention of bone degeneration, including osteoporosis; a condition that increases the fragility of bones, making them prone to cracking, breaking and snapping.

3. Stress Reduction

Everybody needs stress relief in their life, and golf is one such place where you can find a place to relax and enjoy the spare time that you have.

As on average, a round of golf burns roughly 1000 calories, it is known as a great stress release that will also reduce cholesterol in the body.

As golf also raises your heartbeat, it is also a popular form of cardiovascular exercise and will strengthen your heart the longer that you play.

2. It is a great form of socialising

Though you might not perhaps think of socialising as a great benefiter of health, talking and interacting with people on a regular basis is a great way to keep both your spirits and general health high.

In fact, there are many benefits of laughing alone. Elizabeth Scott of About.com says that:

“Laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells we have working for us, and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.”

If you find that not many of your friends are interested in golf, try adding your name to a few tournaments or events at the club house.

1. Golf offers great exercise

If you were to actually stop and watch professional golfers on television, you would notice that the vast majority of them are fit, muscle toned individuals. Tiger Woods for example, is nearly 13 stone; the vast majority of it of course, is muscle.

Much of Tiger’s training is not actually on the golf course, but in the gym where he will lift weights, stretch with wire machines; working the muscles which he needs for a great swing.

By taking influence from the training of one of the legends of golf, you can be fit and healthy in a matter of months; and feel the benefit from it too.

Sergio Garcia looks ahead for 2013

After helping Europe into victory during the 2012 Ryder Cup, Sergio Garcia was last December able to end his four-year Asian Tour win-less streak after winning the Iskandar Johor Open.

After failing to win a title in the tour since the 2008 HSBC Champions, Sergio Garcia seems to have got over his two year slump from 2008-2010; a time when he fell into 74th place in the PGA tour ranking money list and out of the top 50 in the Official Golf Rankings.

Now found in a comfortable 16th place in the Official World Golf Rankings, the 2012 season was certainly one of improvement for the Spaniard who won the Wyndham Cup in August, finishing a spectacular -18 to par.

This however was almost shaded into neglect after the 32 year-old won the rain swept Johor Open with a brilliant finish at 11- under 61. Though the path wasn’t always the straightest for Sergio Garcia after a frustrating week on the green, the Spaniard went ahead to clear all opposition; so much so that his final round was the lowest by a winner in Asian Tour history:

“It has been a long week because of the weather but I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end it.”

Interestingly, since helping Europe defeat the United States in the Ryder Cup under the watchful gaze of Jose Maria Olazabal, Garcia becomes the seventh Ryder Cup star to win a title.

Joining him in raising individual cups are Justin Rose, Peter Hanson and Ian Poulter amongst others.

All of this is of course made even more spectacular considering that only in November Garcia was put under the knife as he underwent an operation to correct a stigmatism. Speaking in November he said almost prophetically:

“I had the surgery, but everything went well. I will have three tournaments towards the end of the year. I hope I can play good, finish on a high note and get ready for the next year.”

With the Christmas and New Year seasons firmly done with, it is expected that Garcia will build on what he has achieved this year and continue the momentum into 2013.

The Spaniard however, is not the only one who is looking to improve into 2013 as former world number one, Tiger woods is also looking to take victories this year to a new level.

After four years of searching for his 15th major title, Woods speaking on his official blog had this to say:

“Looking ahead to next year, I’m just trying to win those big four tournaments, and obviously try to use other events to prepare for them and try to win them as well”

Although Tiger had a very patchy 2011 season after being out through injury for the majority of it, 2012 has been very successful for him, having picked up no less than 3 cups during year; earning him a very respectable $6,133,158,00.

With the 2013 season teeing off in Hawaii, all eyes are sure to be on the 37 year-old.

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Top 5 Coaches in Golf

Golf is one of the few sports in the world where players will strive to get better, in any way they can. If you turn up to your local club at any point during the summer, you are likely to find your professional handling either an individual or group teaching lesson.

Of course, the above is at the lowest end of the spectrum. There is no doubt that local club professionals are hugely qualified individuals and the fact that all must possess the PGA qualification highlights this. However, from a professional point of view, the situation is much different. A local lesson at your club might set you back $25 or so, but take it to the other end of the market and you could be paying as much as $10,000 per day. Bearing this in mind, we’ll take a look at five coaches within professional golf who are regarded as the best in the business. The betting offers from bookmakers on golfers coached by the following tend to be much tighter than the average professional golfer.

Butch Harmon

Harmon began coaching the professionals in the early 90s, after coming to an arrangement with Greg Norman that resulted in the Australian becoming hugely successful. This work caught the attention of a budding Tiger Woods and the two enjoyed a fantastic working relation between 1993 and 2004 – with this undoubtedly being the period that was the most successful for Woods throughout his whole career. The golfing world was shocked when the two went their separate ways yet that did not deter Harmon, with the 69-year-old working with the likes of Ernie Els, Fred Couples, Adam Scott and most recently Phil Mickelson.

Suffice to say, Harmon is regarded as one of the best coaches in the professional game – if not the best. It therefore shouldn’t come as a surprise to see he charges $1,000 per hour for a basic lesson.

David Leadbetter

It could be argued that David Leadbetter is the most famous golf coach of all time, with Leadbetter releasing some of the most popular instructional material in the form of books and DVDs. He runs an elite golf academy, aptly named ChampionsGate, in Florida, while he also boasts a great history amongst tour professionals. Many credit him for the fantastic success that Nick Faldo experienced during the 80s, with Leadbetter responsible for completely rebuilding the Englishman’s game. He was also the coach of Ernie Els for 20 years, up until the point the South African opted to switch to Butch Harmon.

Again, it’s not cheap to obtain a lesson from Leadbetter, with the starting cost being $3,500 for a three hour session.

Hank Haney

This is another coach that has had the pleasure of teaching Tiger Woods, although to say that the two cancelled their agreement in strained circumstances is an understatement. Haney published his own book which concentrated a lot on Woods’ misdemeanours and this publically riled his former client. Nevertheless, the two did experience some decent success when they were working together, while Haney is often credited with Mark O’Meara’s two major wins.

It appears as though Haney has taken advantage of his past association with Woods and even though he claimed in his book that Tiger only paid him $50,000 per year, he now charges clients $10,000 per day for coaching.

Mike Bender

Out of all of the coaches on this list, Mike Bender is probably the least well known. However, there is no doubt that he is regarded as one of the best in the world and the fact he runs his own Mike Bender Golf Academy speaks volumes. He is the coach of 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson, while he also lists Jonathan Byrd as a client.

It’s safe to say that out of all the teaching professionals, Bender has the lowest rates. It costs $250 for a one hour session with Bender – which could be affordable for a lot of amateur players.

Dave Pelz

This is another coach well known for his instructional material, with Pelz releasing countless books and DVDs on the short game. This is the area where he specialises in and some players will visit him just for coaching around the greens. Phil Mickelson is probably the most high-profile player, although the likes of Vijay Singh, Payne Stewart, Tom Kite and Lee Janzen have also benefited from his teaching.

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Betting on Sports Online

Whether you’re a seasoned gambler or new to the scene, there are plenty of Internet sites available for sports betting. The web is a resourceful portal for activities normally engaged in on site. You don’t even have to wake up early on a Sunday or stop by the field after work, which can become a costly venture with transportation costs and other extraneous billable behavior. It’s as easy as logging online and choosing a site that’s convenient and comprehensive as you navigate through the sports channels and make your gambling choices.

Making sports-specific wagers online allows gamblers to place bets on the sport of their choice. From boxing to basketball and from baseball to horse racing, there are plentiful options from which to choose when betting on sports. You can pledge your allegiance to the teams and athletes you believe are worth supporting on sports betting sites.

Make sure you find sites equipped with reliable information and customer support. With tutorials on the hows and whys of betting on events, these sites guide you through the process of putting your money on your favorite professional and college games.

When choosing your method of betting, you have options in bookies and sportsbooks. It’s important to do research on which ones you will entrust with your money, especially once you find a site where you think you will be conducting your betting operations. Bettors with the soundest information about sports gambling and the teams they are dealing with are at an advantage when it comes to successful sports betting. Keeping up with statistics and scores ensures your bets will result in coming out on top. Be sure to follow the instructions and regulations of your chosen sports betting site and enjoy the art of online gambling.