Josh Pauls: My five superstitions for Sochi 2014

Find out what the American ice sledge hockey forward will be doing before his games at the Sochi 2014 Paralympics. 22 Feb 2014 By Josh Pauls

My most famous superstition is facing of my Mr. Potatohead figure toward my opponents’ locker room.

From every bio that has been written about me, it is pretty clear I am a very superstitious person.

I've got some superstitions that make sense, and others that may make people unfamiliar with me scratch their heads.

But like that one beer commercial my motto is “If it's stupid and it works, it's not stupid.”

Without further ado, here are my superstitions.

1. I don't change my Under Armor after a win. This superstition only occurs if it is washed, but during national team games it normally is. I feel like wearing the same undershirt and shorts keeps it familiar and helps me stay comfortable for the next game.

2. I don't change my dress shirt after a win. For the Paralympics, we wear suits before games, but before all other games, a shirt and tie is the normal attire. If we win, I don't like to change shirts and always have enough shirts. If we lose, I feel like I need to slightly change my routine, and changing the shirt I wear is the perfect way to do so.

3. I always throw a tennis ball with my teammate Greg Shaw before games. First we warm-up and just toss it around. Then, I start pitching to him and hopefully get a strikeout on the imaginary baseball batter. Then, to end it, we have a final 10 throws we need to go uninterrupted with a final one for "good measure." We can spread this out for up to 20-30 minutes, but can also have done it in as few as five minutes when time is short because of unforeseen circumstances.

4. I always wear my good luck necklace before games. It was given to me to give me good luck before games, and who doesn't want luck on their side? It's even got my current number on it, says “luck” and has a four leaf clover on part of it.

5. Finally, my most famous superstition is facing of my Mr. Potatohead figure toward my opponents’ locker room. I'm not sure how this started, but it seems to work. I guess a potato staring down the competition even when they don't know it has an intimidating effect.

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