As a former captain of George Washington University's MCLA club team, our leadership team worked cooperatively to develop numerous ways to utilize our uniforms to support our team-building efforts.
In the article below, I will answer the question, how can uniforms help my club lax team, by viewing the question through the scope of what GW lacrosse has done.
At GW, we learned that a cohesive and unified look afforded a level of professionalism that served the team greatly. Competing for field time, resources and the favor of the administration, by presenting ourselves as a professional organization, we received that little extra assistance that we needed in order to be successful.
While uniforms certainly do not tell the whole story, by arriving at the practice field or at the team bus dressed as a team, like an NCAA program, we exuded an air of professionalism and stood apart from our other club counterparts.
2. Building Your Team's Brand
In order to build a great team, you must enhance its brand as an organization. In the lacrosse world, a great way to develop name recognition is through unique, striking and appealing apparel designs. At GW, we received fantastic press from our helmet design, specifically, raising our profile in lacrosse circles. For instance, Cascade Lacrosse's offical Instagram account, which was 101,000 followers, reposted a picture of our helmet in front of the Lincoln Memorial. This post earned 2,714 likes and scores of new followers for our team's Instagram account.
In turn, as potential recruits begin to inform their college process, GW lacrosse was not just a team amongst the many, but one who stood out with a recognizable name. Furthermore, raising your team's profile will help in growing within the MCLA and truly standing out in terms of rankings and MCLA press. Having brand awareness can pay serious dividends for your team as it continues to grow and we learned at GW that apparel design can help to do this.
Club team's will always be forced to deal with the issues of funding. Unfortunately, the majority of club lacrosse teams, even those in the MCLA, must operate primarily off of player dues. A great way to alleviate the burden on team-members that we championed at GW was the resale of surplus apparel on the sites such as Sideline Swap. Every year, for whatever reason, it seems that excess gear is ordered, whether it is due to players leaving the team or otherwise, we decided at GW to put that extra apparel to good use by reselling on different internet marketplaces. Not only will this provide an extra boost of funds, but it will further build the aforementioned name recognition necessary for building a lasting organization.
4. Team Morale
Lacrosse has become a sport where looking good and dressing well is a key for many players. The notion that dressing well will translate to a better performance on the field is one that the majority of lacrosse players swear by. At GW, we found that in designing and purchasing gear that was unique and good-looking made guys just a little happier and kept them more engaged. On the flip side, we saw that when the team was not involved in the uniform creation process, morale could be threatened. A team can be made or broken based on the happiness of its players, and by designing uniforms that the team will like, it is one great step in promoting a stronger team morale.
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