In the 90's I was a skater, which meant my jeans couldn't be baggy enough. As I matured and trends changed, so did the width of my pants all the way to slim fit (I could never pull off skinny jeans). My track and sweat pants though remained comfortable, which is to say they stayed relatively baggy, why, because I was off to play sports and comfort was top of mind. While I know tapered pants are very much the trend du jour, call me crazy but I think track pants ought to be comfortable, and that's why I'm bringing them back and better than ever.
Each summer I play for my inter-county doubles team, and each year I suggest that we have team uniforms, and each year I am told it’s not going to happen. We don’t want to spend the money, we want to wear out own clothes they tell me. So I try and do the next best thing; convince whomever my doubles partner is that week that we should wear the same colour t-shirt and shorts so we look like a team. This is often rebuffed, usually with laughter or mild distain. 'How awesome would it be' I tell them (with great enthusiasm), 'if we showed up to our match looking like a serious team?!' 'No', my partner tells me, 'I don’t care' (with great apathy), 'but how cool would we look???!!!'.....no Adam, just no.
If you play on a rec league basketball or softball team, you happily wear your teams uniform, so why not in Tennis? Is doubles not a team sport? Are we worried our opponent might laugh at us and think we’re (heaven forbid) taking the match too seriously? I say if you look like a team, you'll feel like one and you’ll play like one. So get dressed, match up, and as Men's Wearhouse might tell you, 'you're going to like the way you look' and in this case play.
( Photo Source: puntodebreak.com)
On the day after my 34th birthday I stood and watched my 38 years old brother hustle, grind and emotionally will his way to win his tennis clubs division B tournament. Throughout the course of the match I noticed him mumbling to himself (as he often does during matches) both a positive and negative things. On important winning shots however I heard countless C’MON’s!!..much to the chagrin of his opponent. What’s more, I often heard his opponent audibly laugh as though my brother had said something silly; as though the finals of a rec league B division did not warrant such a show of emotion. One could argue that he was laughing as a means to shrug off my brothers exuberance, but to me it was a sign that he didn't care as much about winning the match.
While there is something to be said about saying C’MON too often in moments where a silent fist pump will suffice, I am a firm believer that after winning a big point, a show of emotion is warranted and can in fact help you in a number of ways. It’s going to get you going for the next few points, keep you energy level up and most importantly, it’ll give your opponent something to think about. They’re going to realize you're up for the challenge and that they’re in for a real fight. Nothing's worse than realizing your opponent cares more about winning than you do.
So the next time you’re playing a match, no matter what the level, no matter what the stakes, don’t ever feel bad for letting a C’MON fly when the moment presents itself. Now go enjoy one of the most mild mannered tennis player ever say C’MON over and over.
Ever wonder how good the pros really are? Ever think to yourself, “If only I had done nothing but play one sport all my life and were blessed with superior genetics, I’d be just as good as them or at least been able to play in college.” Well, the next time these thoughts creep into your mind while sitting on your couch watching Sports Centre, seek out an athlete who played at the college level in whichever sport you THINK you excel at, and compete with them, or better yet, just practice with them and you will receive a lesson in rec league humility.
I’m a tennis player, and believe myself to be a pretty decent one at that (at least at my local club and among the friends I regularly play with). I give most of the players at my club a run for their money. I believe myself to be faster than most of the people I play with and consider my forehand to be a fairly good shot, a weapon in fact. This 'belief' however was called into question when I got the chance to practice with my friend Kevin, a former division 1 US college player.
Ten minutes into our warm-up, I felt pretty good about how I was keeping up. Then I felt compelled to ask Kevin how my shots compared to the players he normally practices with or used to play with in college. His response, “about half the speed and weight I’m used to.” With my ego sufficiently deflated, I requested of Kevin that he rally with the same pace he uses with players at his level. He was more than happy to comply and I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
The best way to describe what it was like is to imagine that your opponent gets to hit a tennis ball that, to him, feels like it’s coming out at a leisurely pace from a ball machine, while you get to return a baseball coming at you from a major league pitcher. Scariest of all, is the fact that my absolute best shots (which generally give my friends and fellow club players a hard time) were put away for winners by Kevin with ease.
While I did manage to hit a few shots that caught him off guard, most of the practice consisted of Kevin standing in one spot, moving me from side to side and leaving me in need of water every five minutes.
For my final lesson in humility I asked Kevin if he had a good time hitting with me considering the fact that I hit at half the pace of his usual hitting partners. “Yeah” he responded “it was great, it gave me a chance to practice my put-away shot because your shots land so far inside the baseline…my normal hitting partners don’t usually give me that chance because they hit the ball harder and deeper in the court.”
Back to my original point: how good are the pros really? Kevin the former D1 College player informed me that there are players at his club who are MUCH better than he is who also played at the college level. That’s a scary thought considering how good Kevin is, which really puts the pros into perspective. There are levels, and there are levels on top of levels on top of levels on top of levels…then there are rookie pros, then seasoned pros, then there are the top pros who make the seasoned pros look like me playing Kevin.
Three years ago I was headed to my rec league tennis team doubles practice. I was 30 years old at the time and decked out in my best Rafa Nadal Nike tennis outfit. Nike Bandana, Nike t-shirt, Nike shorts, Nike Socks and Nike Wristbands (New Balance shoes because they fit my feet better than Nike). On my way out the door I caught myself in the mirror and I thought for the first time, 'this is a bit much' (particularly for practice). It was as though I was trying too hard to “look” like a tennis player (those who know me best can attest at times to my style over substance tennis game). I quickly took off my Nike t-shirt and replaced it with an old cotton tee with no logos just to break up all the swooshes I was wearing.
This is the anecdote I often tell when asked why I started Athletes Collective. I wanted a high quality unbranded technical sports shirt but could not find it in stores. I figured I wasn't the only one looking for this, and according to my customers this truly seems to be the case.
From a personal preference and brand strategy standpoint I have been adamant about keeping Athletes Collective gear logo-free. From a business standpoint however I often wonder how many more people might have bought my products if they had seen the AC logo on someone they knew. It might get more brand recognition in the gym or on the tennis court. Influencers I have given my gear to could show off my logo and get others to want to wear it. After all I’ve been told the Athletes Collective logo is pretty cool, some going so far as to say they would absolutely wear it across their chest. So goes my ongoing conundrum; brand recognition or stay true to what I set out to do in this industry, which is to be something unique for athletes that don't define who they are on the playing field by the logo they wears across their chest.
In the coming months I will be introducing new items to the collection. I will strive to keep improving the quality of the products that AC produces and become more technical in my designs, all the while providing the most affordable highest quality logo-free athletic apparel on the market. AC will continue to have a logo next to its name but I'll never ask you to wear it across your chest.
Adam – AC President.
Minimal effort, maximum flavour. Try this quick and easy stir fry recipe that will make you look like a real cook. It's all about the Basmati rice, trust us! (Video source: Food Tube)
As 2016 came to a close, the good people at PEOPLE ARE AWESOME have put together a year end compilation. Click on the photo for four minutes of jaw dropping human feats of sport. (Source: People Are Awesome)
While the kids love their compression shirts and pants, there is a reason most golfers are not flocking to some of the amazing tech fabrics on the market: they are too tight for golf.
There is a fine line between snug and cutting of circulation. Over five hours on the course, golfers need breathability, a little give, just enough support, and a layer that will cover their arms.
We used to have turtlenecks for that but I think most would rather suffer frostbite than join the fleeting movement to make them cool again.
That's why you should treat yourself to Athletes Collective's $25 (USD) Long Sleeve.
If you've heard me talk about them on ShackHouse, you know I love their stuff because it's logo-free, ridiculously-priced, well-made, great-fitting and perfect for many uses. I wear the large Long Sleeve for working out and the more snug medium as an undershirt to still freely hit a golf ball in.
So go to AthletesCollective.com and enter the promo code HOUSE to receive 15% off your first order. Throw in some gym shorts while you're at it. Or you can get three of the long sleeves for $66 (USD) thanks to their bundling option.
All orders include free shipping and returns to the US or Canada. And 100% satisfaction is guaranteed, as a few ShackHouse listeners have confirmed in emails reporting great follow up service from the AC folks.
Secondly, I simply want to thank all of you for your support this past year. When this was just a side business and something I did for fun, Athletes Collective had around 50 customers. I am happy to announce that with your support we’ve sold to over 1300 athletes across 10 countries. By industry standards this may not sound like a lot, but for a new concept like an affordable unbranded sportswear line its something we’re very proud of.
I use the word we a lot even though I’m the only actual employee. It’s because I consider every one of my customers part of the company. It’s not always easy to buy and trust a new brand of clothing, especially sportswear and especially when buying from an online retailer, but that’s what you all did. For the simple act of trying something new, I cannot thank you enough.
As always, if you have any questions, comments or just feel like chatting about sports, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Happy Holidays and thanks for your continued support,
Adam Mintz - Founder and President
There’s a lot of fitness info out there and probably too much to sift through on a day-to-day basis. So we'll bring you workouts we’ve actually tried from various reputable publications, and then recommend the ones we think you'll like. For example, this circuit is a great 21 minute workout that will burn tons of calories and work every muscle in your body. We can't promise you'll look like this guy, but it'll give you a hell of sweat.
(Source: Men's Health)
We’re also going to recommend healthy and tasty recipes that we've tried that you can actually make, like this one from Jamie Oliver (in video form). In addition we'll give you easy to follow health tips from leading experts.
(Source: Food Tube)
(Source: Dude Perfect)
In a little over a week we'll be launching the latest edition to our collection; The Conway 1/4 zip pullover. Look out for our pre-sale email where our loyal customers (that would be all of you) will be eligible to purchase it at a very limited time price.