Every athlete knows the mental aspect of the game they play can be just as important as the physical one, and there is no shortage of tactics you can deploy in the hopes of gaining a psychological edge.
That’s especially true when it comes to basketball.
Earlier this week, Donovan Mitchell highlighted the upsides of trash-talking when he successfully psyched out Grant Williams before the Celtics forward was unable to hit one of the two free throws that would have essentially sealed the game.
Of course, players are far from the only people who make an effort to get into the head of opponents who are granted a trip to the charity stripe, as spectators have a tendency to deploy a wide variety of strategies to try to get them to miss a shot.
There are also some cases where cheerleaders have gotten in on the action.
Last month, a member of Jackson State’s cheer squad was sent to the locker room after a referee ruled they’d illegally attempted to distract an Arkansas-Pine Bluff player during an (ultimately successful) free-throw attempt.
It would appear officials in Taiwan’s Super Basketball League are much more lenient about what cheerleaders are allowed to do based on what unfolded during a recent game.
Su Pai-chang of the Taiwan Beer was hoping to put a dent in the six-point lead Changhua BLL had over his team when he stepped up to the line during a contest earlier this month.
Now, there’s no telling if the members of the Changhua cheerleading squad known as the “LuxyGirls” influenced his shot, but I like to think the group of women doing splits and twerking underneath the basket he was shooting at was the reason he was unable to convert the attempt.
I guess they just do things a bit differently in Taiwan.