Although few organized sports focus on the smell of peppermint, a study published almost two decades ago zeroed in on the practice.
The study is: “Enhancing Athletic Performance Through the Administration of Peppermint Odor,” Bryan Raudenbush, Nathan Corley, and William Eppich, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, vol.23, 2001, pp. 156-60. The authors, at Wheeling Jesuit University, explain:
“Forty athletes undertook a series of physical tasks under conditions of no-odor or peppermint odor. The peppermint odor condition resulted in increases in running speed, hand grip strength, and number of push-ups, but had no effect on skill related tasks such as basketball free-throw shots.”