In sports, there are a variety of factors that contribute to winning more than a team’s uniforms, including the performance of coaches and players. However, team gear should not be ignored altogether. With leading brands making innovative additions and changes to sports apparel every year, schools should always be looking to update their uniforms in order to keep up with their competitors. After all, these new innovations could have an effect on teams’ play.
An Example from the Pros
This article on the San Jose Sharks’ new uniforms notes that the players’ sweaters will now be lighter than before, allowing the team to play faster. Even though the change may have a minimal effect on the wins column for the Sharks, it is undeniable that it will help the team. All schools should be trying to maximize their athletes’ performance in any (legal) way possible, so making even the tiniest changes to team gear should be encouraged.
The bulk of the article is spent detailing the aesthetic changes to the Sharks’ jerseys, which, along with the performance-enhancing aspect of the jerseys, is supposed to help the team reach “the next level” this season, according to the Sharks. While the benefits of lighter jerseys are indisputable, can aesthetic changes really impact performance?
This question would probably be best answered by a study examining team uniform changes and subsequent team performance. Yet, even without such research, it is reasonable to guess that most players and coaches would rather be outfitted in something new than something outdated. Moreover, at the scholastic level, the mere investment in new team uniforms would likely give players and coaches a psychological boost because they would know that their athletic departments and school administrators care about them.
Not only should team gear buyers be looking for uniforms that include all of the latest technology, but they should also be looking at gear that is visually appealing. Whether buying new and improved jerseys motivates a team to reach the next level is certainly up for debate, but it can’t hurt to show players and coaches that their performance and appearance matters to their superiors. In sports, playing for something more than oneself can motivate athletes to perform at their best and accomplish feats that they would have never dreamed of achieving. Supplying teams with new uniforms can potentially give players that something extra to play for and, as a result, can lead teams to new heights.