Games are important and competitions are crucial, but athletes spend most of their time at practice. Practice is the foundation of a good play, routine, or performance. Many athletes might be surprised to learn that what they wear to practice can greatly affect their performance.
Effective practice wear does not include a regular t-shirt and pair of shorts. The fabrics and style of practice wear can actually affect an athlete’s performance at practice. By wearing the right practice wear, athletes can up their game, have more room to stretch and move, and, perhaps most importantly, prevent injuries. The right practice wear should fit well, be comfortable and, ultimately, be specifically geared for athletes.
When it comes to tops, there are two basics styles – t-shirts and tanks. If an athlete prefers a t-shirt, go for cotton, which is light and breathable, Lycra, which stretches, or a moisture management fabric that will keep the body dry and cool. The shirt shouldn’t be oversized and instead should be fitted to the body.
Like t-shirts, tank tops should also either be made with cotton, a moisture management fabric, or Lycra, which conforms to the body and provides a smooth look. Lycra tanks are great for athletes because they’re easy to move in and comfortable. If an athlete is more worried about sweating too much or feeling sticky in the summer, look for moisture management fabrics. Many athletic brands – from Nike to Chassé – have their own fabric that absorbs sweat and cools the body down. When shopping, look for a tag that lists the fabric.
Like the top, shorts should be comfortable and flexible. Either cotton or Lycra is best, depending if an athlete want a slightly looser fit (cotton) or a smooth, close fit (Lycra). Some athletes, like cyclists, may prefer to wear Spandex, which is very tight on the body but can get hot or uncomfortable. Many athletic shorts are also available in moisture management fabrics.
For female athletes, it’s crucial that they don’t wear an ordinary bra. For any type of fitness, whether at practice or running at the gym, a sports bra is a necessity. It provides the support that an ordinary bra can’t. Sports bras are also designed to soak up sweat more efficiently than a non-sports bra. While necessary for all female athletes, sports bras are especially important for athletes that jump around a lot, like cheerleaders and gymnasts.