The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

Apr 15, 2024

Fear the gear: how the right equipment improves performance

by Justin Martinez| sports writer

Sophomore Asa Cantwell comes off of the pick and roll and calls for the ball. Once he gets it, without any hesitation, he turns and sinks the three point shot. Most people would say that confidence like that is earned by tireless practice on and off the court. However, to some, there is another key attribute that factors into game-time confidence.

If you were to ask an athlete what is necessary to have a strong performance, a common answer would be the proper equipment and apparel. Many athletes believe that in order to play well, you must dress well. And in order to dress well, you have to know what is trending and what is out of style.

Nike socks are all the rage for serious basketball players.

“There are a lot of different trends going on in basketball. My thing is that I love buying socks,” Cantwell said. “The trends are always changing and there are new styles constantly coming out. I feel that I have to keep up with them. Its all about the fashion and I like how they look and feel. That’s why I have all kinds of colors and styles.”

Ranging from Adidas to Nike, and everything in between, the style of apparel can play a major role in the mentality of an athlete. Of course, wearing Jordans won’t automatically make someone play like the legend himself, but the fact that the shoes and other apparel that you own are approved by actual sports stars creates a sense of security and confidence.

“I think that my game would probably be affected if I wore no-name brands,” Cantwell said. “It would just be a mental challenge though because I’m so accustomed to wearing brands like Nike and Under Armor. If I had to wear anything other than those brands, it would definitely take some getting used to.”

A common dilemma for trend followers is that trends are constantly changing. Trends are unpredictable and are difficult to keep up with. What was a top seller last month can wind up in the clearance section or the very back of someone’s closet the next month. The spotlight placed on trendy items rarely sticks around for an extended period of time.

“I have a lot of basketball socks because I go out and buy a new pair every single weekend,” Cantwell said.  “I buy new ones every weekend because there are always new things coming out. Right now, I have at least a hundred different kinds of socks for basketball. They don’t help my game in any way other than confidence, but that’s an important thing to have when you’re playing. They make me feel prepared and ready to go out and play my best every time I hit the court.”

New apparel from popular sports brands such as Nike, Jordan, Under Armor, and Adidas are constantly coming out and although the prices of these trending items may be higher than no-name brands, they still manage to fly off the shelves due to teenagers’ constant desires to keep up with what’s hot and look good while doing it. Sometimes, a simple Jumpman logo or swoosh symbol can double the price of an item. Despite this, these major sports brands are seen as a must have for some athletes.

“I prefer Nike even though the prices are more expensive,” junior Raul Aguilar said. “I get their stuff because I know its worth the price. I’ve been wearing their stuff for quite a while now and I feel that its a more reliable brand than any other ones. I know that I won’t have any kind of problems with their products when I’m out playing in them.”

And while its not easy keeping up with trends, it is even harder to set them. At some point, somebody has to make a statement and put the previous trend to rest. Being a trendsetter is a pretty big responsibility, but fortunately for us, there are some people that are up to the challenge. Thanks to these brave trendsetters, we are wearing current popular apparel like Nike and Sperrys instead of legwarmers and tie-dye shirts.

“I’d rather be the person that is setting trends than the one that is always following them,” junior Calvin Rice said. “I’m not the kind of person that needs to rely on other people, and because I’m me, I wear what I feel looks good instead of what others think looks good. If you have that kind of mentality, you’re never going to be out of style.”

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Fear the gear: how the right equipment improves performance