Do ‘lucky socks’ really work? Sport has always been full of ____, even for thebest ____ in the world. Long-distance ____ Mo Farah always shaves his head before a race. Judo star Kayla Harrison always wears the lucky ____ that were a gift from her ____. Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo always steps onto the ____ with his right foot first. And tennis legend Serena Williams always bounces the ball five times before a first serve, and twice before a second serve. Do actions like this have any real effect on ____ results?According to a ____ at the University of Cologne, it seems that they can increase confidence and a sense of control, which might help athletes. The study showed that ____ who were given a ____ ball that they were told was ‘lucky’ played better than those who used a ‘normal’ ____. And it isn’t just sports. In another experiment, people who were allowed to carry their lucky charm performed better at memory tests than people without one. The ____ concluded that superstitions make people feel more confident, which makes them perform ____. Superstitions may also have a ____ physical effect. DanAbrahams, a sports ____, says that sporting ____ can ____ the release of adrenaline and other chemicals which help the athlete to focus better. Most psychologists, however, say that superstitions can be____ as well as good. Abrahams tells the story of a professional football ____ where two players had the same superstition - they both had to be the last person to leave the ____ room before the game. They couldn’t agree how to solve the problem, and it had a really ____ effect on them and on the ____. And what happens if you sit down to take an exam and realize you’ve forgotten your ____ pen?




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