Editor’s Note: Ever wonder if sports clothes and accessories are worth the expense? Before you invest, read today’s guest post with Tony Benson as he shares a few thoughts and tips on the subject.
Can proper athletic gear improve your performance? Yes, it can. Will it? That is another question.
The ability to perform in situations that stress your mind and body (such as athletic endeavors) requires several factors that come into play and work together:
- You must be prepared (as in trained, well-versed, etc.) in the activity you are attempting to execute.
- Your body must be injury-free and in good shape.
- You must have the mental capacity to move beyond feelings of fear, uncertainty and frustration in order to compete at a higher level.
- And you must have the proper gear.
Now, dressing for the part is not necessarily a requirement for amateur athletes (unlike pros, who almost always have some sort of restrictions concerning their garments and accoutrements), but it really can make a difference in your performance, both physically and mentally.
Before you invest in athletic gear
If you are just trying a sport on for size, you may want to borrow some equipment until you decide if it’s an activity you will continue with in the long-term. For any sport that requires balls, pads, and so forth, just get a friend to loan you some of the items you’ll need to get started. Then, if you decide it’s something you want to pursue, you can lay out the cash to purchase the paraphernalia necessary to proceed.
What makes athletic gear proper?
Most sports have regulation sizes for balls, cleats and other gear, but the thing that really makes a difference for most athletes is what they wear. Having clothing that is specifically designed for a certain sport can make a world of difference.
Tennis, for example, entails a particular type of movement (often side to side). For that reason, shorts and skirts are loose and unrestrictive.
Marathon running, on the other hand, produces a lot of friction between the legs, so you’ll need tightly fitted shorts or pants that will wick away moisture and that won’t ride up, thereby exposing your inner thighs to chafing.
Then there are sports like football and hockey that require so much protective padding that the actual garments worn have to be quite roomy (and geared to either hot or cold environments).
Being comfortable can definitely make a big difference in how well you perform (and how much you can endure). But there is also a psychological aspect involved.
The psychology behind athletic gear
Just as smokers are trained to define themselves as “non-smokers” once they quit (and alcoholics are forever in “recovery”), athletes need to be able to set parameters for their athleticism if they want to realize improvement and success. One of the best ways to do this is through appearance.
Anyone can look at a crowd of people and point out who plays tennis, who rides horses and who’s been out catching waves just by recognizing their clothing.
In addition, purchasing the gear associated with your activity of choice is an excellent way to mentally commit to bringing your goals to fruition. If you jog in cut-offs and an old concert t-shirt, you are never going to view yourself as a devoted athlete and you may lack the motivation to improve.
If, on the other hand, you dress the part, you will not only feel like you belong (you are now a member of an elite club), you’ve already taken the first step towards becoming mentally and physically prepared to push your limits, and that’s what will really step up your game.
Guest post by Tony Benson: If you’re looking to create your own custom clothing, take a look at the selection Custom T Shirt Printing has to offer.
What say you, Readers? Are sports clothes and accessories worth the expense? Have you ever had a purchase help you commit or motivate you with a sport or physical activity?