Football Superstitions – The Real Foundation of…?

Time to Read – Longer than 13 seconds…Touch Wood

Football Superstitions – The Real Foundation of…


MATCH of the Day presenter Gary Lineker says “Is this for real?” before every show.

Bobby Moore used to make sure he was the last player to put on his shorts (and Martin Peters would wind him up by taking his off again, and Bobby followed suit).

And ex Huddersfield striker Malvin Kamara watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory before every game.

We label all of this as superstition

Or could it be something else?

What is the difference between such superstitions in football (and in everyday life) and “anchoring” in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) – other than the first is labelled eccentric and the second, scientific?

In NLP “anchoring” we take advantage of the fact that the brain works by association, so when we are feeling very calm, we may “anchor” the feeling with, say, a discrete touching of our thumb and first finger. After doing this a few times, the reverse will happen, i.e. whenever we touch our thumb and first finger together, we will feel calm.


When Steve Thompson (WFC assistant Manager) was a player he had to eat a jam doughnut at 1:30 on a Saturday before the game!


The founders of NLP, Richard Bandler and John Grinder, have always said the inspiration and foundation of NLP comes from all walks of human behaviour. Perhaps football, which predates NLP by at least 100 years, holds more lessons than we first realise.

So that’s it on Woking FC NL Weeks…for now – and my final thought of three (after the importance of discipline and a laser focus) is this – have something in your life, away from work, that you are totally passionate about, that sparks endorphins everywhere, and enters your mind and your heart every single day.

With my love, best wishes and (touch thumb and finger) calmness to you all

David X

Next week – get over it – and….

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