On game days, most student-athletes are given the ability to put on attire and accessories that make themselves feel good enough to perform their best.
“I definitely believe in the look good, feel good, play good type of deal,” said senior receiver Khalil Shakir. “I definitely think it’s a huge confidence booster.”
Having the most gameday drip is a ritual in itself, and players have made it a tradition to wear the same eye-grabbing accessories each game day.
“I pretty much wear the same thing every week,” Shakir said. “It’s the two armbands — one armband on each leg — and spat over the cleats and turf tape.”
While it’s fun and all, there seems to be a point where wearing accessories can be a little bit too over the top.
“We have a player named The Fireman, but he goes by [senior forward] Abu Kigab,” said Boise State men’s basketball redshirt junior guard Max Rice. “He likes to wear a headband, two arm sleeves and leg sleeves. He goes a little crazy, but I think he’s earned the right to wear whatever because he puts up numbers and wins games. He gets a pass because of that.”
Regardless of wearing too many accessories — or too few — whatever makes the athlete feel good can be an important part of getting comfortable, relaxed and ready to perform. Whether that means wearing armbands on their legs like Shakir or going sleeveless like senior linebacker Riley Whimpey, it’s always best for the player to wear whatever it takes to get their confidence up.
“In my opinion, you should do whatever makes you feel best,” said senior linebacker Riley Whimpey. “Whatever you do or wear that gives you the swagger that you need, you should definitely do it.”
Accessories and numbers don’t always have to carry a swag factor to make the players feel confident. They could also carry a sentimental value which helps an athlete play better on game days.
“I normally like to wear the number 11, but I couldn’t wear that number at my previous school,” said Boise State women’s basketball junior guard Kaitlin Burgess. “Fortunately I am able to wear number 11 at Boise State. I like to wear that number because that was the number my dad wore when he played back in New Zealand.”
A number could represent the number a family member wore, or it could represent Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders.
“Growing up, my brothers and I were always number 21 or 2,” Shakir said. “We were obviously trying to model our game, our swagger and confidence from Deion Sanders. When I got into high school, number 2 was there and I just ended up taking it over.”
Some college programs do not prefer their athletes to wear accessories during game days. One of the most prominent college sports that discourages athletes from wearing accessories is women’s basketball.
According to Burgess, she believes that schools do not allow their women’s basketball players to wear accessories because they do not want them to get carried away with accessories.
“Boise State women’s basketball does not really like players to go over the top with accessories,” Burgess said. “Most college women’s basketball teams carry the same mentality as well.”
This leads to the athletes finding unique ways to look as good as they can while being limited creatively.
“One of the things that I normally wear on game days is an undershirt,” Burgess said. “The team is still kind of strict on undershirts though so I have to request undershirts for game days.”
Regardless of how creative or minimalistic an athlete decides to get when it comes to accessories, the fact that they look good, feel good and play good is the most important thing.