Football Kit – Colors and Superstitions
Football kit is a serious matter. Obviously, kit quality is key – must be breathable, durable, comfortable etc … But, have you considered whether your football kit is the right color? What you wear and how you wear it can make a difference to your team performance!
Back in the 1863 when the FA was established, players did not wear uniforms. Teams were identified simply by wearing distinctive colored hats and scarves. Uniform kits first appeared in the 1870s and the colors adopted were often those of the university, school or sports club associated with the team. For example, Blackburn Rovers first bore the Cambridge University colors (blue and white) because several of the club's founders were educated there. So very early on in the history of association football, team colors became more than just a practical way of distinguishing players of one team from players of another – the color of a team's football kit took on an emotional meaning.
Studies show that their appearance in their football kit affects player confidence and thus impacts on the performance of a team. Color is likely to be an important factor in this. Different colors are linked with various psychological attributes. The color red, for example, is often associated with strength and courage. Manchester United adopted red and white as their team colors in 1902 and is one of the most successful teams in English football history. Perhaps their football kit has been a real factor in their success? It might sound a bit wacky – but remember the infamous gray away strip Manchester United woman in 1995-1996? It was soon abandoned after the team failed to win a single match. Players struggled to pass to each other wearing the all gray strip and claimed that the kit was not visible on the pitch.
Many professional football players confess to having a "comprehensive" pre-match ritual dominated by various personal superstitions. These range from always eating the same thing for dinner the night before a match, to listening to the right music in the shower on the day of the match and being the last player on the pitch. A number of superstitions center around football kit and clothing on the pitch. Former England captain Bobby Moore opposed on being the last to put on his football shorts before kick off. Kevin Pilkington used to always wear the same pants and football socks for a game and would put the left sock on before the right sock.
Uniforms give a sense of identity and unity. The color of your football kit is likely to be its most instantly striking feature and will affect both team members and opponents as well as supporters and observers. This is as important for a grass roots football team as for professional teams so choosing kit for your team is an important decision.