The Accessory Conflict | Athletes Collective

The Accessory Conflict

As I stepped onto the Tennis court with a friend recently, for some strange reason he began our match by apologizing for the black headband he'd just put on.  I couldn't understand why he felt the need to even mention it, after all, most of my friends had grown accustomed to seeing me in my matching bandana wristband combo on a regular basis, and I assumed everyone else thought it looked as super duper cool as I did.  Apparently not every feels the same way about wearing accessories during sports, even if said accessory is used for its most practical and given purpose, to keep sweat off your forehead and out of your eyes.   Still, some club players feel embarrassed about their accessorization for fear their friend or opponent will think they're trying to emulate the pros. This most likely has to do with the fact that while ripping on your buddies is one of the ways male friendships grow, it's also a reason why some men are apprehensive about wearing accessories during their rec league sports. 

To alleviate this fear, here are a few guidelines that will help you overcome your internal conflict and allow you to wear a practical tool for keeping sweat out of your eyes. 

  1. Accessory specifics #1 - Bandanas and headbands: Wearing a bandana or headband doesn’t mean you’re trying to look like a pro, it’s actually a useful accessory that keeps sweat out of your eyes better than hats do.
  2. Accessory specifics #2 – Wristbands: Useful for any sport where you’re going to sweat a lot. It’s quite simply an easy way to wipe the sweat from your brow and keeps your hands from getting slippery from sweat.  
  3. Accessory specifics #4 – Arm sleeves: Studies have indeed proven that compression sleeves do have useful medical benefits like increasing blood flow and helping with recovery time. 
  4. Accessory scenario #1 – Rec league softball: If you step to the plate with two extra long wristbands on each wrist, an arm sleeve, eye black, sunglasses, and baseball socks, it doesn’t matter if you’re the best player out there, it can be seen as a bit excessive, your name is not Bryce Harper. If you feel it makes you a better player then by all means go for it. The placebo effect is a real thing and we fully endorse the 'look better play better' philosophy, just know that you may get it from your teammates and that’s OK. Embrace your accessories. 
  5. Accessory scenario #2 – Basketball: Lots of sweating going on here, wristband and headband are completely acceptable, arm sleeve optional as stated above. 
  6. Accessory scenario #3 – The gym: You have access to a towel the entire time, no need to go overboard here, one wristband one headband max.
  7. Matching outfit to accessories: There aren’t any real rules here this is a comfort level situation. If you’re looking to go head to toe matching, a good way not to overdo it is by choosing not to go head to toe with one brand.  If you’re a Nike or Under Armour fanatic, wear the branded shoes, socks, shorts, wrist and headband and break it up with an unbranded basic performance tee-shirt

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