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2016 Athletes Collection Preview Part 3

IN THE THIRD AND FINAL INSTALMENT OF THE ATHLETES COLLECTION PREVIEW, WE SHOWCASE THE JOEY SLEEVELESS TEE.  GET YOUR GUNS READY BECAUSE THEY'RE ABOUT TO BE UNLEASHED! 

Joey Sleeveless Tee

Rounding out the collection is the Joey Sleeveless Tee; a modified version of The Folkerson, with the perfect cut off starting point right at the shoulder. Introduced in three colours, the Joey is the perfect gym shirt, Basketball cutoff or Volleyball singlet.  

2016 Athletes Collection Preview - Part 2

In the second of a three part Athletes Collection preview, we showcase the Lyon Long Sleeve hybrid.  Such an awesome shirt, even our models are happier today. 

Lyon Long Sleeve

Designed for versatility, the Lyon Long Sleeve Hybrid serves multiple athletic purposes. Available in three dark tones, the slim but not fully compression fit makes this piece the perfect outdoor running shirt, but with a tight enough fit along the arms and narrow raglan fit on the body to serve as a base layer. The added length along the back of this Lyon gives athletes the ability to keep themselves tucked in for warmth or rolled up for maximum maneuverability.  Wear it for running, spinning, cold air workouts, as your hockey base layer or even under your golf shirt during those cooler rounds.  Available in Midnight Blue, Heather Grey and Black.

                                                                           Notice the added length along the back of the shirt.

2016 Athletes Collection Preview - Part 1

A special message to members of the Collective

Over the past year and a half, Athletes Collective existed as an experiment of sorts. Our hypothesis was that there are athletes out there who are tired of being walking billboards while playing sports, and equally tired of paying a premium to do so. During this period there was lots of trial and error.  On the positive side we received great reception from impartial athletes likes those at Run Haven and Run OregonOur concept even grabbed the attention of the Toronto Star, which ultimately lead to the launch of our Kickstarter campaign. While our crowdfunding effords proved unsuccessful from a financial perspective, it helped to validate our hypothesis.  With over a 150 pledges from around the globe, we realized we weren't alone in the athletic universe; unbranded sportswear was truly something athletes were looking for. No longer an experiment, Athletes Collective is moving forward in a big way, with an all new collection officially launching in mid January of 2016, aptly named The Athletes Collection.  In the first of a three part series, we introduce you to our signature tee, The Folkerson and the D-series:

The Folkerson

The Folkerson, named for the founders high school gym teacher and his no nonsense approach to sports and fitness, has a midway athletic fit inspired by every guy's favourite knock around crew neck he’s washed and worn a thousand times that molds to his body like a glove.

The D-Series

A dynamic version of the Folkerson for those looking to stand out in a quiet way. Each month we will introduce a new style to the D-series, including special editions, seasonal prints and permanent staples to the collection. 

 

Tomorrow we preview the Lyon Long Sleeve, a versatile base layer perfect for all your cold weather activities.   

 

 

Ultimate Perspective

5 reasons why playing ultimate makes you a better athlete than everyone else. By Scott Walker.

* Editors note.   As a brand interested in the ever-evolving world of athletics, we continue to reach out to athletes of all forms, competing in what are sometimes seen as non-traditional sports. These sports however are gaining wide spread appeal and have attracted and built a new breed of athletes hell bent on bringing their sports into the mainstream. We reached out to one such athlete by the name of Scott Walker, a Toronto based Ultimate Frisbee player to tell us what his sport has on the rest us on the playing field.  

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Ultimate frisbee, although gaining traction and minor notoriety around the world, is still a relatively mysterious and unknown sport. Let's face it, when your sport has only recently been acknowledged by the IOC as an actual sport, that says something. Regardless of its appearance on a few sports centre top 10 lists, most people are unaware of how many people actually play, and what's involved with the game. To those who do play, they know that a game of disc is a shinning example of what, simply put, makes them a better than most competitive athletes. 

 

1. No stoppage in game play.

In its most common form, the game basically never stops. That's it... The only time during a game that the individual player stops moving really, is when they're handling the disc, and there's literally a rule that ensures this can only happen for a maximum of 10 stall counts. The only time the play stops is when someone scores. No 30 second hockey shift… No play by play stoppage like the NFL… And no 11 players on the field ‘I'll just walk around while the ball is on thaaat side of the pitch’ soccer mentality. What does this all mean? Ultimate players don't stop. The high intensity cardio from basically sprinting everywhere you go is absolutely unchallenged by most other sports and this ultimately makes you better.

 

2. Offence/defence.

In ultimate the players on the field have general position assignments but everyone must be able to do everything. You may be on a defence or offence line but rarely is a player only on the field to play one or the other. A forced turn over needs to be followed up by scoring after all. As we've already talked about, there's no stopping which means no time to sub players when there's a turnover. Top frisbee players must be top athletes going both ways. Blocking a disc from being caught for a point is absolutely as important as being able to catch it to score one yourself. A top frisbee player is the most well rounded all position players you will find.

 

3. Quarterback vs no quarterback.

 

Imagine a world where anyone on the team could be the star. Well this is the case with ultimate because when no one is the star, everyone is. There's no set quarterback position (although some player are inclined to make this they're focus on the field) which means everyone on the team needs to know how to throw. At any given time, a player could hit a team mate streaking long for points. No favouritism here. No prejudice either… Which means everyone is a threat offensively.

 

4. The best kind of physical challenge.

Everyone these days is on either Facebook or Instagram either some sort of fitness account or tips on how to be more physical. There's even an entire sport of cross fit that is made to measure and classify the type and amount of fitness you have achieved through various tests. Everyone's seen the videos of a guy with a 42” max vertical jump… But did he do it after a 50 yard sprint? I didn't think so. This is a regular for ultimate players who are constantly combining the quickness of cuts to the open field, with direct sprints to outrun opponents, and oh yea, pure explosiveness jumping straight up to catch a floating disc mixed right in the middle of it all. Bottom line is that if you're playing ultimate, you're probably doing a little more than just beating a straight line personal best sprint time.

 

5. The layout.

I couldn't have a talk about ultimate without this coming up. Anyone who knows me would tell you that this is quite possibly my favourite part of the game and obviously has to be on the list. I'm sure everyone knows what I'm talking about, but just in case, check out any Kevin Pillar highlight reel and you'll be brought up to speed. Now that you're back take a look at any Major Ultimate League highlights and see how these kind of plays aren't 1 in 1000 or even 1 in 100. They're commonplace. Offence… Defence… the pinnacle of ‘wanting it bad enough’ and that's really what it's all about.

 

The last bonus reason that ultimate is great is that it gets more people out playing sport in the community and that's really what it's about. Making some cracks about other sports is fun, but all joking aside, any time you get active and have fun with friends, you're winning. In all honesty playing ultimate could actually help develop other aspects of your game to take back to those classic sports we all love, and I'm sure you will have a great time doing it. Ultimate players are some of the friendliest out there so grab a disc and see why that very action is the first step to being better than everyone else.

Snow bunnies need not apply.

What not to ask your snow sport crazed girlfriend on Opening Day of the Skiing/Snowboarding Season?  By Maria N.

**Editors note

More and more these days, men are women are being active together; whether that means working out, skiing, snowboarding or running with their partner.  That's why we're speaking to serious female athletes to give us some much needed advice on how to comport ourselves in the new a co-ed sports world. 

In our second instalment of this series, we reached out to Maria N; health coach, nutritionist, fitness trainer, amateur snowboarder and aspiring surfer, to educate us in the finer points of skiing & riding with a snow sport crazed female athlete. 

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While I may not be a pro rider, what I lack in skill I more than make up for with passion, above and beyond anything you could possibly imagine. I have a love for snowboarding that can fuel a small village. I have endurance and I work my ass off for it.  So when you ride with girls like me there are a few things you should consider before asking the following questions:

Previous night - Can we go to bed already? 

Expect her response to be a simple but emphatic - NO! 
Girls are planners. Girls love prepping. All night long she will be mounting bindings and checking angles, testing stances, walking around in her new snowboarding boots to make them softer and comfier, packing up her ski backpack, putting together slope outfits in matching colors, all while praying to the snow gods for powder. She wants to ski/ride and she knows how she likes her gear, so she’ll make sure she has covered all her bases before she goes to sleep.

Day of - Do we have to be there at the crack of dawn? 

Yes - absolutely! If you want to go with her, you better be there for first chair. She's been looking forward to the first day of the season for longer than you can possible imagine. She has been waiting for the snow to start falling for months, better yet she has been praying for it. Skiing/snowboarding is all she thinks about during the winter months. At work, outside of work, at the gym, even when…yeah you guessed right... She probably works just to support the habit. She plans her weekends around the weather and mountain conditions, so don’t cut her fun even by an hour, as she may leave you at home to sleep late next time.


Lunchtime - Would you like to stop for lunch at the lodge?

Get these romantic ideas of having a meal with a view of the mountain out of your head. 
1) It’s not romantic but crowded, and 2) who needs food when there's powder. 
Remember last night? She prepped. When she packed her backpack, she probably put a couple of protein bars and trail mix in it, as well as a beer or two or a flask of whiskey. She wants to be shredding trails and becoming one with Mother Nature, not gathering in the lodge with everyone else, smelling sweaty gear and listening to kids screaming. She may stop for a beer or a hot chocolate with a shot of Fireball, but if she's anything like me she’ll do it at 2pm after the crowds are gone and go back out in 30min to enjoy the final 2 hours of the day.

3pm Are your legs tired?

Are you fucking kidding me? This girl’s got endurance, and she’ll give you a run for your money so you better be ready. She has worked out for months in the gym, stretched with weekly yoga classes, practiced her mobility and stability with snow conditioning exercises, she is ready, she is here, and she’ll earn her turns if she has to. She ain’t stopping before the lift closes and you better not try to be the party pooper.  She will ride for as long as the mountain allows.

After last run of the day - Wanna go home? 

How about you be cool for once? She wants a beer, no, she has earned a couple of beers. She wants to smile quietly at people at the bar and reminisce of the amazing day she just had. Or maybe she wants to share her joy with others and talk about her runs. She wants to think about her style, check her stance in pictures or better yet, the videos you took of her to relive it. Either way, let her have it her way. When you decided to take her to the mountain you wanted her to have fun, right?
Bonus tip - she will only love you extra if the the end of the day you offer her a full body massage and tuck her in bed. Now that she is home, she is sore and cold. She is a girl after all.  So if you plan on taking your girlfriend to the mountain on opening day, try not ruin it for her, otherwise you won’t hear the end of it…that is if you ever hear from her again.

Don't ever say Dodgeball's not a sport

An education in competitive Dodgeball, "a game of raw emotions."

 

So you’re in the office talking sports with a few guys, and one of them chimes in and tells you he has a big match coming up that night. His dodgeball team is in the semi finals and he’s fired up about it. What inevitably ensues is a round of laughter, followed by another round of mocking, followed by someone finally saying the words “dodgeball is not a sport.”   While I can personally attest to uttering those very words just a few years ago, after speaking with Dave Kutner, former baseball player, golfer, skier and swimmer turned captain of the Canadian Dodgeball team, I have come to realize that nothing could be further from the truth.   We recently sat down with Dave to talk all things dodgeball, from how the sport has changed from guys wreaking havoc to a game of strategic and tactical skill. 

 

How did you find Dodgeball and when and why did you start taking it seriously.

I found dodgeball by accident.  I was looking for a sport to play one summer during undergrad and Googled "sports in Toronto in the summer" and came across a local dodgeball league.  I tried it out and fell in love with it from the moment I stepped on the court.  I started to take it seriously as the strategy of the game developed and the level of play increased.  When I first started, it was just a bunch of people chucking balls at each other.  But the game evolved and I loved the direction it was taking.

What was it about dodgeball that appealed to you more than other sports you played growing up?

I loved the team aspect of the game where the best player didn't win the game, it was the best team.  I loved the creative outlet it provided me.  There are so many different ways to throw and dodge so you can always have fun trying something new and testing out new moves.  Finally, there is the social element.  Dodgeball is a game of raw emotion, but when the final whistle blows, the dodgeball community is so tightly knit that it's a big family that you are excited to see every week.

What do you tell guys who say "dodgeball isn’t a real sport"?

I tell them to try it out.  If you jump on in a rec league somewhere you will have a good time and get a great workout.  If you want to see what competitive dodgeball is really about, there are more competitive leagues as well as competitive tournaments with cash prizes.  Sports are determined by the level of strategy needed to compete and while the essence of Dodgeball is still somewhat barbaric, the strategy and tactical side has evolved so much in the last 5 to 8 years.  Plays are now being called on the court with rotations and positioning to give you and your team the best shot to take out an opposing player.  People who say that dodgeball is not a real sport tend to have never tried it since grade school.

What’s the difference between rec league dodgeball and the international competitions?”

The biggest difference is strategy and understanding of the game.  At the rec level, you still get people who throw just as hard as the competitive players, the difference is that they are not able to control their accuracy as well.  In addition, if you go and throw as hard as you can without the support of your team, you are an easy target for an opposing player to counter you. Teamwork, accuracy and catching skills are probably the largest differentiation between rec and competitive.  The international competitions are the best of the competitive players, so the ones that have played long enough to have a complete understanding and respect for the game.

What’s are the biggest misconceptions guys have about the game when they first enter a league?

That the speed at which you throw does not determine how good you are. There are so many elements to being a well rounded dodgeball player.  When I was first starting out, I was one of the hardest throwers, but there was one guy who always caught my ball, no matter how hard I threw it at him.  I realized that just throwing hard at his chest gave him the advantage.  I started to develop alternative throws (slider, curveball, etc) in order to mix up his timing and placement of his hands (similar to how a baseball pitcher attempts to keep a batter off balance by not just throwing fastballs over the plate).

The other large misconception is how sore you will be the next day.  Dodgeball is not just an intense workout, but is also very high impact.  As with all sports, remember to stretch and warm up and don't get stuck in the mindset that "it's just dodgeball".

 

November 27, 2015

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Why do you lift and dress like that bro?

A female fitness professional's prospective on male gym etiquette/fashion.

By Ashley Korman

**Editors note

More and more these days, men are woman are being active together; whether that’s means working and running with their partner or playing in a co-ed league. Men, as we can tend to be, are sometimes oblivious about how they act around woman in certain social situations, and the sports arena is no exception. With that in mind, we are proud to introduce the first in a series of articles featuring serious female athletes offering advice to men about how to properly comport themselves in a co-ed athletic world.

In our first instalment we reached out to former University of Western track athlete turned personal trainer/weightlifter Ashley Korman for some advice on male gym etiquette & attire.   Here are her dos and don'ts all guys should take note of at the gym, especially around woman.

 

On men's gym fashion:

1. Don’t wear sleeveless shirts for lifting

Playing sports, running on the treadmill, feel free to go sleeveless, but let’s be honest, you can still get full range of motion with sleeves. Girls in the gym know you’re wearing a cut off because you want to show off your arms. From a shared equipment standpoint, what you may not realize is that your skin to bench ratio is worse wearing sleeveless, and your sweat isn’t contained within the shirt. Furthermore, exposure to your open pits means sweat odor levels increase, and do you really want us smelling that while we work out next to you? To that point:

2. Leave the cologne at home

Put on some deodorant before you hit the weights. Smell clean but don't smell like you're headed to a club in Vegas. 

3. Compression shirts are fine but don’t wear small t-shirts

So you want to wear a compression gear, go for it, it’s meant to be tight and actually serves a functional benefit for your muscles, but don’t purposely buy a t-shirt that’s two sizes too small, it just looks ridiculous and makes it seem like you’re trying hard to show off.

4. Too long is better than too short (when it comes to t-shirt length)

When you lift your arms in the air during a press, the shirt shouldn’t come above your belly button…we don’t want to see your stomach unless of course you’re ripped to shreds, then it’s ok (sorry for the double standard guys).  

 

On gym behaviour around woman:

 

 

1. Don’t lift beyond your ability

Woman are far less impressed by how much weight you can lift than you think. If you’re looking to get the attention of that cute female trainer, focus on form, don’t struggle trying to put too much weight over your head, you just end up looking like an idiot.  In terms of which exercises look the best, stick with Deadlifts and especially squats; they make your butt look good during and after the workout.

2. Don't scream

If you’re going to scream loud you better be lifting the most weight the gym has ever seen. Small grunts to get the weight up is acceptable, but just like sex, a guys screaming too much just makes us uncomfortable. 

3. Don’t offer us a spot

A good way to not pick up a girl in the gym is to offer an unsolicited spot. In general, girls don’t lift heavy so if she needs help she’ll ask. Furthermore, don’t try and correct a girls form, it’s just rude.

4. When is it appropriate/inappropriate to hit on a girl at the gym:

  • Don’t do it during her workout
  • If she has earphones on, don’t talk to her
  • If she’s dressed in baggy clothes, don’t hit on her.
  • Either talk to her before or after her workout

If you want to know if she's interested you’ll know, she’ll be looking at you. She’ll be telling you to come over and talk to her with her eyes, we’re as obvious in the gym as we are in a bar.

5. Don’t talk about your workouts with woman at the gym or on a date.

As a trainer, I give zero fucks about your workout. Unless I ask you about your routine, assume that I don’t care. The confident man doesn’t have to talk about what he does or how often he does it. I don’t want to know how many times a week you work out, results speak louder than words.

 

 

 

November 23, 2015

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7 Dos and don'ts for watching the game with friends

As far as friendships and forming them go, for men, watching the game together is right up there. It’s how guys bond and how we end up enjoying the company of people we never thought in a million years we’d be able to spend more than five minutes in a room with. On the surface, watching a game with some buddy’s may seem like an innocuous event, however I believe there are certain do’s and don’t every guy should abide by.  They are as follows:

*Readers not: this is not a how to host a super bowl party article, that's a different animal/topic altogether. 

Do cheer, don't yell: 

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During the first half, don’t yell at the screen every time a player on your team misses a defensive stop, and don't cheer like crazy ever time your team hits a free throw.  You don’t have to be silent, but keep your voice to conversational tone, not every first down deserves an ovation.  Save the the yelling, face in hand gestures and getting up from the couch for the closing moments of the game.   By the same token:

 

Don’t be the ‘it’s already over’ after the first five minutes of the game guy:

You’re team is down 1 goal (hockey) 10 points (basketball) 1 touchdown (football) 1 goal (soccer – OK maybe the game is over at this point), don’t automatically start yelling ‘it’s over, let’s switch the channel.’ Complain they’re loosing, but don’t complain they are the worst team ever and you shouldn’t even bother watching anymore (insert obvious Leafs joke made by Habs fan here). 

 

No one cares about your fantasy team (just don't) :

Unless you’re watching with other guys in your league or with guys who play in a separate league, don’t talk about your fantasy team, no one cares. Seriously, no one cares. Again and I can't stress this enough, just..I can't even. 

 

(Hosts) Do have have food and beverages on hand:

If you’re the host, have beer, soda and chips waiting for your guests. You don’t need to put out freshly fried wings, but have something to snack on. If you’re watching with one or two other people, pay for the pizza if you order one. More than three people eating, everyone should throw in a few bucks.

 

(Guests) Don't come empty handed:

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Listen to your mom, don’t come empty handed. Beer and or chips will suffice, but don’t bring salt and vinegar, there's a special place in hell reserved for people who have that kind of nerve. Also, don’t bring a beer you've never tried that looked interesting because it's a micro brew made locally in some guys basement out in the woods. Name brand or something you know is good. 

 

Don't switch channels (unless it's to another game): 

memegenerator.net

If you’re there to watch a specific game, only switch channels to another game during time-outs or commercials to check the score. Do not switch channels to watch 10 minutes of Scandal you tapped.

 

Do leave when it’s over:

When the game is over, don’t linger at your buddy’s place, he wants you gone.   Say thanks and leave whatever your brought, even if only one beer of the six pack you came with is gone. Don’t take back your booze, it’s tacky.

How to be a sub

When subbing in for your friends' rec league team, remind yourself that you were probably asked less because you’re just an extra body and more for the fact that your buddy thought you’d be a good addition and hopefully contribute to a winning effort. Here are a few rules to abide by when you get that call an hour before game time:

Give maximum effort.

Remember that you are a direct reflection of your friend who vouched for your ability. You never want a regular saying the words “who brought this guy, he’s not even trying.”

Show up on time.

If the 7PM game is cutting it close because of your work schedule, either don’t agree to be the sub, or give fair warning that you’re going to be late. Otherwise get there 15 minutes in advance.

Don't be a hog.

Think Gary Payton not Kobe Bryant. So you're a great shooter, amazing puck handler or have feet like Ronaldo, well guess what, all of your offensive skills mean nothing if you don’t get back on D. There’s a chance no matter how good you are that you’re offensive game might be off that day, either because it’s been a while since you last played or you’re just not used to playing with that team, but playing good D requires nothing more than a little hustle.   No one ever got mad at the sub who played too hard on defense, but you and your friend are almost certain to get dirty looks if you’re the black hole of whatever sports you’re playing. Don't be a hog.  

Don't demand more playing time.

You’re a sub and you’re not paying to be on the team, playing time priority goes to the regulars even if you are or feel you’re better than the regulars. Don't accept playing for 2 minutes, but don't demand more playing time than everyone else. 

Don't be the emotional leader. 

If you’re the type of player who normally gives advice and likes to tell people what to do and where to be on the court or field, then subbing may not be for you. Even if you’re the best player out there, no one wants to hear it from the sub unless it's an intelligent calmly delivered thought out tactic. You’re also not allowed to get mad at someone who missed a defensive assignment, which means you don’t get to say “who had that guy??!!.”  

Don’t yell at the refs.

If you get a bad call, don’t say anything to the refs that might hurt the team, let the captain do that.

 

WATCH ME SPORTS, NOW WATCH ME PLAY THEM

At age 32 I have begun to realize that I am a full generation removed from what is cool and what is popular, a concept that recently hit me like a ton of bricks. This became apparent to me when I had to look up what “on fleek” meant, and when my 11 year old nephew told me the music I played him in my car (The Beastie Boys) was stupid. This is also apparent every time I’m the 300 millionth viewer of a popular music video. More than anything else though are the snide remarks I’ve begun to make every time I see someone taking a selfie. When you start to question and openly criticize how people in a generation younger than yourself act, you know you’re getting up there in age.   As of this moment, the song Watch Me by Silento has 368,551,878 views, which some might believe pretty much sums up the generation younger than myself. Some call them Generation Z, other more critical observers might call them generation Watch Me.

While I too have become party perturbed by the antics of generation Watch Me (selfies mostly), one place where it bothers me less is on the playing field. I love sites like Bleacher Report who showcase not only amazing feats performed by pro athletes on their cell phones in the practice gym or field, but from high schools and colleges around the world and people in their backyards.   For all their faults, generation Watch Me has made sports better for now and for always.   Every generation does something the generation older then them thinks is silly and will eventually lead to the downfall of society, and inevitably the younger generations proves them wrong (see GoPro cameras). In the world of sports, the ability to film, photograph and instantly upload for the world to see has given us greater access to sports than ever before. As a fan, I love getting the behind the scenes view of the lives of my favourite pro athletes, and I love seeing the real wide world of sports (traditional and non) whenever I want.  

So while I’m still not a fan of hip hop post 2006, cringe whenever I see someone at the gym taking a photo of themselves while working out, I hope athletes across the world continue to say the words all kids say to their parents when trying to accomplish any physical feat…. "WATCH ME”.   I certainly will.

 


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