Many athletes are obsessed with their gear and this makes sense. There are all sorts of superstitions and routines in sports when it comes to what we wear. We need the right cleats or shoes, the best bat, the cool accessories. We see the professionals wearing something, a headband or a pair of flashy gloves, and want the same thing. Whether it’s conscious or not, we can fall into the trap of thinking that the clothing makes the athlete. Maybe if we look the part we might actually play better.
Why Are We Obsessed?
There is something to say for being confident in the way you are dressed during competition. First and foremost you have to be comfortable to play at your best. If you’re worried that your sneakers are not up to snuff that might get in your head. But beyond being comfortable our accessories matter little or not at all. If it makes you feel good to wear the arm sleeve by all means go for it, but it might not improve your jump shot.
What’s The Necessary Equipment?
All you need are the bare necessities. You do need good shoes whether they are sneakers, cleats, or something else it’s important to protect your feet and have the correct support. But buying the ultra-light cleats that the pros wear might not make the difference between making the high school team and not.
Basically you just want your equipment to work properly so you don’t get hurt and you can play at your best. You want your shoulder pads to strap up right and stay secure, your baseball glove to be broken in but not so much that line drives twist the pocket around. You don’t need the three hundred dollar bat to be a good hitter. In fact it’s more impressive if you lead the team in batting average with the fifty dollar one.
What Are the Distractions?
Too many accessories can be a distraction. The kid with the arms bands, elbow sleeve, and headband has a lot to worry about running up and down the court. There’s no need to encumber yourself like that. Simplicity in sports attire is best. People like humble athletes. You don’t want to be the flashy one anyway.
Trust in Your Equipment
When you find something that words for you, stick with it. Having the same baseball glove season after season can provide comfort on the field. It can be the constant throughout your triumphs and failures. It can remind you that you’ve been in no-outs, bases-loaded situations before and it all worked out. Athletes need consistency. Don’t change your equipment unless something breaks.
Hung Up on Toughness
If you need a brace or a special pad, wear it. Toughness comes from within. It’s not based on what you look like. If you are worried about wearing elbow pads on the football field, don’t be. Once you knock a few people over and establish your confidence, you might be glad not to have bruises on your elbows. People sometimes make fun of the linemen who wear gloves when it gets cold. Many linemen are afraid to wear them. But the ones who don’t have to worry about their hands being cold can focus better on the game. Toughness is based on how you play. No one can tell you how tough you are. It’s something only you can know and prove on the field.
When it comes to sports equipment don’t over think it. Simply wear what makes you comfortable and helps you get the job done.