Ways To Support Sports In The Winter

3 Warm And Fashionable Ways To Support Your Team This Winter

The ideal way to support your team during the cold snap.

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Winter is always the most problematic time of the year, especially for the sports fan that often spends their weekend sat in the stadium of their favorite team. In fairer months, this isn't a problem with the sun shining, but this time of year certainly separates the men from the boys, as it were.

Fans that continue to turn out in their numbers to cheer their team to victory are diamonds — often referred to as 'hardcore fans'. As well as being there for their team, fans naturally also want to look their best. Now whether that means donning your side's jersey or gearing up with something a little more sophisticated is down to the individual — or where you are seated in the stadium, depending on whether you are fortunate enough to warrant the VIP treatment.

1. In the grandstand

Assuming you are in with the normal everyday fans, you are going to want to fit in. That means hat and scarf branded with the club emblem to keep you warm, as well as proudly showcasing your affiliation. You will also want to proudly display your colors for all to see, and that means ensuring your jersey can be seen — something you may not want to do consider the low temperature.

Fear not because the trick is to buy a jersey a size larger than you would normally wear.

Why? So as you can wear layers underneath without feeling as though you cannot move. This way, you are kept warm and toasty while being dressed for the occasion.

You may also feel that a rattler is a perfect accessory to complete the winter sports fan ensemble in which case you would be wrong. Don't be that person who everyone seeks out for all the wrong reasons.

2. In the director's box

If you are fortunate to bag yourself a seat with all of the important guests in attendance, you will need to dress a little more respectfully. Here, jeans and sneakers are a no go, even if you are likely to spot the odd one or two who still insist on going with the casual look (chances are that they are someone who can get away with it).

That means smart trousers and shoes should be subbed in. Now what you wear on the top half comes with a little more flexibility as the smart/smart-casual dress code does have some flexibility — it is best to seek advice.

A smart polo shirt, scarf, and jacket will keep you smart and warm, as well as comfortable without wearing a full-on tuxedo.

If, however, you would much rather go all out then the directors' box is the place to do it. Along with a smart shirt and tie, the cold weather presents the perfect opportunity to wear a waistcoat for aesthetic and practical reasons. Just to top off that VIP look, why not don a set of cufflinks? Don't just settle for a cheap set, however, especially with specialists designers on the market where you can buy cufflinks from.

3. In the bar

Of course, not all fans are lucky enough to bag themselves a ticket to the game, instead settling for a seat in their favorite bar (conveniently located in front of the screen). Here, you can dress more relaxed and casually without the need to wear numerous layers to fight off the prospect of pneumonia.

For many, this is the ideal way to support their team during the cold snap. In the warm, surrounded by friends with the drinks flowing and, of course, hot chicken wings to boot. Lovely!

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Everything The Student Athlete Loses When They Move On From Sports

Enjoy it while it lasts.

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We used to call it "flipping the switch." You would go through eight hours of school (somehow) and then your mentality would automatically change. The worries and stress from the school day would dwindle as you put on your cleats and begin to warm up. Anything that was going on in your life didn't matter when you hit the dirt. You create lifelong friendships with the girls you spent every day with for months at a time. Teammates who see you susceptible after a bad game and on cloud nine after one of your bests.

You develop a routine and superstitions. Hitting your bat on the inside of your cleat before you hit, chewing a certain type of gum on the volleyball court, how many times you spin the ball before you shoot a free throw, whatever your quirk was, you 100% believed it would make you play better. You practice in your free time with your dad, devote three to five months of your school year to a team, and play all summer long with your travel team as you live off hotel breakfast. Then one day, it's all over.

It is a feeling that nobody can prepare you for. They say enjoy it while it lasts but you never really understand what you'll be walking away from when you play your last game and hang it up for good. You lose a part of yourself when you're no longer an athlete. I forgot what it feels like to be competitive and be a part of something that is bigger than myself. It has been two years since I've played my last softball game and not a day goes by when I don't miss it. I didn't play because I wanted to go pro or even to the collegiate level, but I played because it was an escape and helped me become who I am.

You begin to forget what it felt like to hit the sweet spot on a bat, what it sounded like to have an audience cheer for you as you stand alone on second base and see your family in the stands, to hear the metal spikes of your cleats on concrete when walking in the dugout. It's simple things about the game you love that brought you pure joy and an escape from the world and the thoughts in your head. Batting practice was always mine. Focusing on nothing but the next pitch and how hard I could hit it.

When you have to watch the game from the other side of the fence, you realize how much pressure you put on yourself when you played. It's just a game. Make as many memories as you can and enjoy every inning because when you leave sports behind you have to find your inner athlete in other things. Create a workout routine, joining a club sport or intramurals, or even becoming a coach. As much as I miss the sport, I am thankful for everything it brought me. It taught me how to be a good friend, respect others around me, and to push myself to discover what I was capable of.

So, enjoy it while it lasts.

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It's Been A Year And I Still Miss It

The memories with my teammates and coaches are remembered everyday.

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Never thought I'd say it but here I am. I am happy to say I am proud to be where I am today but the thoughts of never playing a sport again linger in my mind. Those emotions of anticipation and excitement when it comes to playing a sport are long gone. Sad to say I will never have butterflies before running a race, floor burns all over my knees and sweat mixed with softball dirt all over me.

The little aspects that I took for granted are what I remember the most. I am who I am today because of my coaches and teammates. Each and every sport came with a support system to fall back on and friendships that would last a lifetime. My coaches and teammates taught me life long skills that I will carry with me forever. They taught me the true meaning of dedication, teamwork, perseverance and respect. Yes, I love the game but the connections and memories I have built have impacted me. Especially, the times I have created with my teammates and coaches on the bus rides, practices and game days.

Those are the moments I will never get back. I will never forget the times my volleyball teammates and I would run over to Perkins after a win. We would eat junkie, greasy food till our tummies were full but during those moments we were all owning the moment while being young and careless. Even during track season my teammates and I found time to have fun while running rigorous workouts. I will never forget the mid-dance parties during track meets to keep our mind off of the stress of performing to our best ability. Softball season always seemed to be on the road, which meant plenty of bus rides with my teammates. Those hours of traveling were the best from the never have I ever games to singing along to great hits.

I will never get the chance again to compete in front of a crowd. The cheers and the roars of the fans is such a surreal feeling. Running on the blue oval was something I will never forget. As much as I hated the queasy, uneasy feelings before running, I would go back for it one more time. Stepping foot on the blue oval meant a great athlete once took those same steps I did. The moment my teammates, coaches and I clinched the win to go to State for the first time in school history was unbelievable. It was an accomplishment for us seniors, for our coaches, for our families and fans, for our school and for the past softball players. We did something that was never done before in school history and all I can say is I'm proud to have done it with the group of girls that I did.

Getting to state and playing with the best of the best is remarkable but what seemed to be even better was getting a victory against a city rival. Everyone came out for those games from grandparents to students to alumni. Our best performances were amongst us when competing against city rivals. Particularly, through volleyball, my teammates and I seemed to be hungrier for a win whenever it was a city rival. I guess, the best moments happened when we beat a cross-town rival. You could say we got bragging rights for the year.

To all the athletes out there competing in their last game, last match or last race, relish in those last seconds because before you know it you will never pick up a ball again, race in a relay or dance after a victory.

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