Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

Lake Zurich High School Student Media

Bear Facts

(Uni)forming opinions

Athletes evaluate effectiveness of their uniforms
Photo by and used with the permission of Dalton Leitz
Leitz runs during a cross country meet at Palatine High School. Leitz says he likes the design of his uniform.

There are only a few things that athletes can take into their most high-stakes competitions: a good mindset, knowledge from practice, teammate’s support, and finally, their uniforms.

Several aspects of a team’s uniforms can be instrumental in aiding an athlete’s performance. Uniforms vary in material, color, and style depending on the sport.

“I think the goal [of] uniforms is to represent [an athlete’s] school, and make sure it’s comfortable for the sport,” Meera Ohri, sophomore, said.

Students from various teams have noted shortcomings in their teams’ competition uniforms. Problems include poor sizing, inequality of uniforms between genders, and lack of modesty which may make some athletes uncomfortable.

Ohri and Dalton Leitz, senior cross country runner, both cited problems with sizing of LZHS’ uniforms. Leitz says that the cross country state uniform had sizing that was not all inclusive.

“For our state series we only have ten [uniforms], so when it comes to the state series, sometimes you might have to squeeze into a different size uniform,” Lietz said.

Inaccurate and uncomfortable sizing of uniforms may inhibit an athlete’s ability to compete, especially in a sport such as cross country. In cross country, the uniforms should be “as unrestrictive as possible,” according to Leitz.

Leitz also says that his uniform’s shorts are shorter than what he is used to, which may make some athletes uncomfortable.

Similarly, Ohri calls attention to a possible drawback with the girls’ tennis uniform, as it consists of a tank top and skirt that may be more revealing than some athletes are comfortable with.

“Some girls might not feel comfortable [showing more skin], so that might be a problem. However, there are ways to [stay more modest], [such as] wearing leggings under your uniform, but then you might not be comfortable if it’s hot outside,” Ohri said. “So if the uniform showed less, then more athletes might feel more comfortable.”

Though girls in most sports do the same things as their male counterparts, their uniforms style and design do not always reflect this.

In tennis, the boys wear T-shirts and longer shorts which contrast the girls’ tank top and skirt. Similarly, in volleyball, the shorts for the girls’ uniforms are tighter and shorter than the boys’ uniforms. Kendall Flournoy, sophomore volleyball player, attributes this difference more to social norms than physical guidelines.

“Boys don’t [commonly] wear short shorts,” Flournoy said. “It’s more common for girls to wear shorter shorts than boys, obviously, but that’s also kind of a [social] standard.”

Despite shortcomings, athletes also noted things they like about their uniforms. The uniforms’ designs are one thing Leitz commended.

“The simple designs are probably some of the best designs. There’s one text element and then a logo. You don’t have to make it all fancy to make it look good,” Leitz said.

Similarly, Ohri enjoys the quality of her uniform, one of which is Lululemon.

“I like how the Lululemon uniforms were really breathable especially on [hot] days,” Ohri said.

Though athletes’ skills are important in competition, uniforms also have the ability to help or hinder athlete’s performance.

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About the Contributor
Tessa Fabsik
Tessa Fabsik, Staff Writer
This is Tessa’s second year on staff and first year as Bear Facts' Junior Sports Editor. Tessa spends most of her free time playing tennis or soccer. She is also involved in NHS, Freshmen Foundations, French Club, and International Club. Outside of school, Tessa finds herself walking her dog, Finnick; reading; baking; or obsessing over Taylor Swift.    

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