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Rituals of Sport

Within the context of sport, rituals can be as commonplace as a fan's gameday superstitions or as complex as the training techniques of a superstar athlete. Each of these actions, whether founded by spirituality, science or even some irrational belief, are a means to ready the mind and body for what lies ahead. For high level athletes, rituals come in myriad forms. They are the minutiae, the quiet details of routine that help to center oneself in preparation for the task at hand.

Follow along in this 4-part series, as New York-based director Allen Alcantara explores the unique approaches of four individuals across various arenas.

Part Four: Leticia Esparza

Leticia Esparza is a lifelong practitioner of Taekwondo, earning a first degree black belt by the age of 9, her first world championship in sparring two years later and then a spot on the US national Olympic team leading up to the London Games in 2012.

Her journey in martial arts has presented its fair share of victories as well as lessons in self-discovery. Through it all, mastering the art of breathing has become an invaluable tool, a technique that Leticia learned in Iceland while training at high altitudes. Breathing with intention helps her to connect mind and spirit with the body, to stay immersed in the moment and always moving with purpose.

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