The Benefits of Starting an Office Sports Team

There are many benefits to joining a sports team. Sports teams can help you get out and meet new people, get you fitter, healthier and happier. An opportunity which a lot of people tend to miss out on is starting a sports team with people in your office. You may be worried that broaching the idea in the office may be met with groans and half-hearted agreements from your colleagues, but when you look past that, there are a whole host of benefits to starting a sports team with the people in your office. Whatever your reasons for starting a new sports team, make sure you start off properly with high quality custom sportswear for your team.

Get to know your colleagues

How well do you know the person on your left? You may know their name, possibly the name of their other half or beloved pet cat, but how well do you know them personally? If you want to keep your office motivated, knowing how to motivate them is pretty important. What motivates one person may not motivate another, and you won’t get to know what motivated whom until you spend quality time with them – sports is one such way to get to know them personally.

Build team cohesion and morale

One of the reasons we wear school uniforms in the UK is to build team spirit and cohesion. Wearing the same high quality sportswear as your colleagues does exactly the same for your team spirit. If you want your colleagues to think of each other as more than “just the guy from accounting” and inject new life into your team, sticking them on a sports team together is a great way to get the proverbial ball rolling.

A healthy team is a happy team

If you want your staff to stay happy and healthy, locking them in an office from 9-6 every day is not the right way to go about it. Taking every other Wednesday afternoon to go play touch rugby or a friendly game of 5-a-side in the park will get your team on their feet and moving around. There’s no denying the positive effects that sport has on concentration, focus and morale.

It’s a different way of training people

If you’re the boss, team sports are a great way of training your staff. If you’re not the boss, this can be a great way of showing off your management and coaching abilities. Either way there’s a lot that your staff can learn from sports, from stress management to conflict resolution.

Free advertising

If you were to go to the park to kick a ball around, doing so in high quality custom football shirts which show off your company logo is tantamount to free advertising in your community. This is doubly useful when you’re hiring new staff – people are more inclined look into joining a company which is seen to be taking care of its employees like this. If you can find your way into a league with other local businesses, that’s another way to boost your advertising and networking ability.

Top Tips for Becoming a Better Team Player

The most successful sports teams in the world are comprised of individuals who understand that being part of a team isn’t all about them. Being a fantastic team player is an invaluable skill and one that will stay with you for life. Taking part in team sports is a fantastic way to develop these skills. However, being a team player doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Independent and head strong individuals can find it difficult to fit comfortably into a team player environment. Here are Team Colours’ top tips for becoming a better player.

“We”, not “me”

One of the most important aspects of team sports is learning how to be a “we” player rather than a “me” player. You know your own skills and talents, which is why it can be incredibly tempting to simply play a game to satisfy your own ambitions. Counting how many points you’ve scored or how many great tackles you’ve made serves no real purpose for the team, but makes you feel good. This is a “me” player. To become a “we” player you need to always keep in mind that you are just one part of a team and you should be committed to helping the team succeed, regardless of your individual role. Ask yourself this: “Would I be happier if I played really well and the entire team lost, or if I didn’t play as well but the entire team still won?”

Encourage others

A sports team is also a support network, and it’s crucial for players to encourage and help each other. It can be easy to keep to yourself when you’re on a team, but investing time in your team mates outside of the game will make you even stronger during play. Not every player will be naturally motivated to work hard, and some team mates need an extra push. Encourage your team mates to spend time developing their skills as you develop your own. The extra practice will help you all improve and will help boost the confidence of the entire team.

Make sacrifices

It’s important to make sacrifices for your team every now and again. You can’t be the hero of the game all the time. You need to be willing to make sacrifices for your team. This may mean giving your team mate the opportunity to score a fantastic goal or sitting on the bench every now and again to give someone a chance to play. No matter what sport you play, certain sacrifices will not only help you to win, but will enhance your team’s skills. You may not always be thanked for the sacrifices you make, but your team will certainly be a lot better off for your selfless attitude.

Be a fan

You need to be your team’s number one fan. Even when you’re not wearing your custom team kit and you’re sitting on the sidelines, it is important for you to still be able to show your support for your other team mates. Your team will especially need your support when they are not playing at their best and they are beginning to feel discouraged. Keep a positive attitude and cheer on your team. It can be difficult, especially when you are losing, but being able to boost your team’s morale is the mark of a true team player.

Avoid the blame game

When things start to go wrong, it can be all too easy to start pointing the finger at one another. Competitive sports can be highly stressful and bad games can really take their toll on a team. This can often cause fractures in team relationships. It’s important to learn how to stick together and pick each other up after a loss. Nobody is perfect and mistakes will always be made, so there’s no point holding a grudge. Learn how to overcome a loss and correct the mistakes which are causing problems. Every loss is a learning opportunity to help your team improve and a great team player will be able to remember this and stay positive, especially during tough times.

5 Reasons Why Cricket is one of the Best Sports Ever

Here at Team Colours we’re huge cricket fans. With the T20 cricket World Cup about to get underway, a lot of people are wondering about the sport. Perhaps you’re from a country where cricket isn’t popular. Perhaps you’re a Brit who has simply never understood the sport. Either way, as expert manufacturers of custom cricket clothing, we think cricket is one of the best sports we ever exported to the rest of the world, and here’s why:

It’s a mental game

Cricket is a game of patience and composure. There is a lot of physical movement in cricket and it takes a lot of skill to bowl a ball that fast and that accurately. Likewise it takes a lot of skill to hit a ball that hard, travelling that fast. Unlike its cousin, baseball, cricket can be drawn out over a matter of days. You need a lot of patience when a test match lasts for 30 hours of play spread over 5 days. In order to play at your peak for that length of time without faltering takes an incredible level of mental strength which you simply don’t see in anything outside of competitive chess.

It’s a highly social game

When a single game takes as long as a game of cricket does, you find yourself spending a lot of time with your team mates. Team cohesion is incredibly important in cricket, as if you don’t like someone you spend 30 hours playing with per match, you have a problem. In cricket you cheer when your team mates get runs, and when your team mates cheer for you, it’s your mates who are cheering for you.

It’s not just the players who are sociable though, as is evidenced by the infamous cricket beer snake of ’01. The cricket fans of the world are a unique breed who love their sport fiercely.

It’s beautifully simple

Unlike football (American or otherwise), baseball or rugby where the rules are quite complicated and can vary depending on the league or tournament, cricket is incredibly simple. All you need to play it is a bat, a ball and a second player to join in the fun.

Also, unlike football or rugby where trying to explain the game mid-match can be a tense and frustrating experience, you will have no shortage of time to explain the game to friends who haven’t yet grasped what an ‘over’ is.

The players have amazing hair

Cricket is home to some of the most incredible beards, moustaches and hairdos ever seen in professional sports. Contrary to popular belief, cricket isn’t a game of boring old men in white jerseys – modern cricket clothing is bright, fun and colourful. Quite often the same goes for the players’ hair. Case in point, Colin Miller, WG Grace, Mushtaq Ahmed and Doctor Who.

It never takes itself too seriously

Cricket is about as laid-back as competitive sports get. Fans can enjoy crosswords and tea breaks as you play, nobody is afraid to show up in weird and bizarre costumes, and if the weather is looking a bit rubbish and rainy we can all just pop inside for a bit. Cricket is a game which brings people together, often for a cup of tea.

Top 7 Badminton Players of All Time

Badminton has a bigger following in the UK than many may realise. It may not rival the dedication that China and Indonesia have for the sport, but there are still thousands of Brits who love nothing more than watching the excitement of a shuttlecock flying around the court. Badminton is a game of speed, agility, accurate foot work and killer attacks. In honour of the National Badminton League this June, we’ve taken a look at our top seven badminton players of all time. These are players you can truly aspire to as you stand there in your new custom badminton teamwear.

Lin Dan

This Chinese athlete is legendary in the world of badminton and is regarded as the greatest singles player of all time by badminton enthusiasts across the world. He is the first and only player to complete the “Super Grand Slam” by the age of 28, including all nine major titles in international badminton. Lin Dan is famous for his aggressive nature on court and despite having won all of the major titles, he is still entirely focused on winning. He is also the only player in the history of the sport to win the Olympic gold medal twice consecutively. His achievements in badminton are certainly impressive and it seems his reign as the badminton king is only set to continue.

Lee Chong Wei

This Malaysian player is the only person who has held the number one ranking for more than a year. He received a number one ranking in 2009 and continued to stay there for an impressive 199 consecutive weeks. Lee Chong Wei has been admired for his calmness on court and his ability to fight player peer pressure. With incredible humility off-court, this player is admired by many. With a list of achievements long enough to rival even Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei was named Olympian of the year twice in 2008 and 2012. He’s even a bestselling author in Asia, with his autobiography “Dare to Be a Winner”.

Rudy Hartono

Former Indonesian player, Rudy Hartono, is considered one of the finest badminton players that the world has ever seen. Dominating badminton from the late sixties to the early seventies, Hartono won the prestigious All-England Championship’s men’s singles events eight times, including a record seven consecutive wins from 1968 to 1974. He achieved four gold medals and two silver medals at the Thomas Cup and won the men’s singles title in 1972 at the Munich Summer Olympics, the first year that badminton was included as part of the Olympic programme. His legacy in the badminton world lives on and he is considered to be one of the best sportsmen that the world has seen.

Taufik Hidayat

The now retired Indonesian player, Taufik Hidayat, won the Indonesian Open a record six times over the span of his career. In total, Hidayat achieved 27 titles and was positioned runner-up 19 times. Though he’s especially famous for his rivalry against Lin Dan, he holds the record of fastest smash recorded in a singles competition. His 305 kph (189.5 mph) smash in a match against Ng Wei in 2006 received international acclaim and is yet to be beaten. The overwhelming power in both his backhand and forehand made him one of the most difficult players to face on open court.

Morten Frost Hansen

This Danish player was also known as ‘Mr. Badminton’ during his 12 year stint in the top 3 world rankings. In England, Hansen dominated all of the Open Badminton Championships. He is especially noted for his smooth and fluid footwork. Remaining undefeated for months at a time, he won almost every international top level championship except the World Badminton Championships. He was defeated in the last world championship of his career, leading to the unfortunate headlines reading: ‘The World’s Greatest Player May Never Be World Champion’.

Li Lingwei

The now retired Li Lingwei was a dominant force in female badminton in the 1980s. She has been considered by many as one of the greatest players in the history of women’s badminton. She is particularly noted due to her court coverage and net play. Winning two gold medals in the women’s singles even and one in the women’s doubles event at the World Championship, Lingwei and her partner Han dominated badminton in the 1980s. Lingwei is now an elected member of the International Olympic Committee and has been inducted in the Badminton Hall of Fame.

Peter Høeg Gade

Another Danish player that broke records was Peter Høeg Gade. Gade was the number one seed from 1998-2001. He was a favourite amongst fans due to his fast attacks, smooth footwork and his trademark shot, the ‘Double Action’. With an incredible ability to handle on-court pressure, Gade won the European Championships titles five times and also won three gold medals in the European Team Championships. He retired from a professional badminton career in 2012, achieving bronze medals in the Wuhan Thomas and Uber Cup.

Chris Froome Completes Historic Tour de France Triumph

The three-week Tour de France came to an end over the weekend as Britain’s Chris Froome was crowned champion for the second time in his career. The victory means that Froome becomes the first Briton ever to win the tour twice, and at just 30 years of age, the Team Sky athlete has plenty of potential to add to his current haul of titles. Froome completed the 2,200 mile race in 84 hours, 46 minutes and 14 seconds, beating Columbia’s Nairo Quintana and Spain’s Alejandro Valverde to secure the gold jersey and etch his name in the history books once more.

There were a record 10 Britons at this year’s event. The highest ranking Brit after Froome was his teammate Geraint Thomas, who finished in 15th position. Elsewhere, sprint specialist Mark Cavendish had a mixed tour as he finished in 142nd place. While he took his overall tally of Tour Stage wins to 26 after winning Stage 7, he was also accused of giving up in a sprint on Stage 2 – something Cavendish reacted angrily to.

Froome’s victory was an impressive one, as he led the general classification since Stage 7. His powerful riding made sure that he never dropped out of the top two positions after the third stage. He was even leading the pack by three minutes 10 seconds right up until the last Thursday. The highlight of Froome’s Tour de France possibly came during Stage 10, as he broke away from the competition with four miles left to add a huge extension to his lead and set the tone for the rest of the event.

Froome also took home the Polka jersey during the event, making him the first rider since Eddy Merckx in 1970 to win both the overall race and mountain classification in the same year. The green jersey, rewarding consistently high finishes on each stage, went to Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, after he finished in the top five positions on 10 different stages. The 25-year-old Quintana didn’t leave empty-handed either, awarded the white jersey for being the best young rider – the second time he’s collected it in three years.

The competition was fierce among the big four, Froome, Quintana, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali, at this year’s Tour de France. Quintana finished just 72 seconds behind Froome overall, after claiming that he lost the race on Stage 2 where he finished a disappointing 88 seconds after the Brit. Nibali, the defending champion, lost time on Stages 2, 8 and 9, and faded as the tour progressed, although he did well to win Stage 19. Froome’s victory ensures that he will be remembered as one of the greats of British cycling for many years to come, and he will be hoping to add to his already impressive list of achievements as he enters the peak of his career.

Scream like You’re Losing if You Want to Win

Following the Wimbledon final, we’ve decided to take a look at tennis. One thing which seems universal across the world of tennis is their ability to scream at each other. Whether you’re watching men, women or children play, there’s a signature grunt after every swing which lets you know that tennis is happening. Considering no other sport seems to scream or grunt as much as they do in tennis, is there a reason for it, or is it just a weird tennis thing?

As it turns out, there’s actually a very good reason for it – two in fact. Tennis, like golf, is a sport where the crowd are expected to remain silent. If you’ve ever been to a professional tennis match you’ll know that the game will not start until you can hear a pin drop. This is because tennis is a mind game just as much as it is a game of physical exertion. Let’s be honest – the sound of silence punctuated by the rhythmic thwack of the racket followed by a shrill grunt or scream is disconcerting for everybody watching. The important point here is that screaming is cathartic – it relaxes the person doing the screaming. On the other hand, it serves to throw off the person at the other end of the court.

The classic “come on” which is shouted at the opponent really does psyche out the opponent. Sharapova’s “come on” is the thing of nightmares, striking fear into the hearts of not just the opponent but anyone watching. Petra Kvitova’s Czech equivalent “pojd” serves the same purpose. Controlled studies have shown that when players weren’t allowed to scream, reactions were delayed by as much as 33 milliseconds. That may not seem like a lot but considering the world record fastest serve was 163.7mph (Samuel Groth, 2012), 0.33s is a long time to delay. If you can throw your opponent off for even a fraction of a second, you have the upper hand.

Tennis isn’t simply mind games though – skill, strength and speed are crucial when it comes to placing the ball exactly where you want it to go. Tennis isn’t the only sport where players shout either. Ask any martial artist and they will tell you that there’s a very good physical reason to kiai (shout) after a strike. This shout not only empties the chest cavity, reducing the change of getting winded by a counterattack, but allows you to strike your opponent with maximum strength. The same goes for tennis – if you want to hit the ball as hard as possible, shout as you hit it.

So when you’re standing there in your new custom tennis clothing this summer, bouncing the ball on the floor before you look up to serve, remember why it is that you scream. Relax, focus, and remember our advice here at Team Colours – scream like you’re losing if you want to win.

5 Players to Watch at Wimbledon 2015

Here at Team Colours we love tennis. Tennis players, tennis courts, tennis wear – we love it all. With the Wimbledon tennis tournament coming up fast we’ve taken a look at the top 5 tennis players to watch out for this summer. These five men and women have proven time and again that they have what it takes on the court, delivering result, after result, after result. In fact, we would go so far as to say that these 5 are some of the greatest tennis players of all time. We hope you’re excited for the tournament to start at the end of June – remember that if these tennis prodigies inspire you to get out there and practice your serve, you can get all of the custom tennis clothing you need right here at Team Colours today.

Roger Federer

Singles Ranking: 2

Having played a total of 36 Grand Slams to the quarter-finals, with a record 17 wins among those, Roger Federer is undoubtedly one of the greatest tennis players to have ever hit the court. This Swiss tennis star is the player which young and upcoming tennis prodigies aspire to be. A player who is as graceful as he is skilful, Roger Federer is the player to watch if you’re looking to pick up on the techniques the pros use. Federer last won the Wimbledon tournament back in 2012, and is one of the favourites to take home the trophy this year.

The Williams Sisters

Singles Rankings: Serena (1) Venus (16)

These two sisters are famous in tennis. Everywhere you go, their names are spoken – not surprising considering they have both won both Wimbledon and the US Open. This pair of sisters are both impressive on the court, but considering Serena last won Wimbledon back in 2012, most tennis fans are expecting incredible results from her again this year.

Rafael Nadal

Singles Ranking: 10

The man from Mallorca is known for his tenacity on the court and his willingness to fight for every single point. This relentless determination is what got him through a severe knee injury which critics thought would end his career. Instead this Spaniard came back stronger than ever. With eight French Open titles under his belt, Rafael Nadal is undoubtedly the greatest clay-court player of all time.

Martina Hingis

Singles Ranking: Unranked

Hingis has not taken part in Wimbledon’s Singles event since 2007. That being said, there’s no doubting Hingis’ abilities on the court. With five grand slam titles and a win-loss record that puts others to shame, Hingis has been a tennis pro since the ripe old age of 14 and even spent an impressive 209 weeks as the world’s number one player. After damaging the ligaments in both of her ankles in 2002, Hingis was forced to withdraw from professional tennis, but it appears that she is finally ready to make a comeback. We don’t know how Martina Hingis will fare this year, but with her impressive history, she will definitely be a player worth watching.

Novak Djokovic

Singles Ranking: 1

The winner of last year’s Wimbledon men’s singles tournament, and at least one international tournament every year since 2011, Novak Djokovic is definitely a player worth watching. 2011 was a particularly good year for this Serbian star, when he claimed an impressive 10 titles, including 10 Grand Slams. Haven beaten the likes of Federer and Nadal, with an impressive career Win-Loss record of 645-143, Djokovic is another of the favourites to win Wimbledon this year. Keep an eye on him if you’re looking for ways to improve your game.

The Top 5 Pre-game Rituals in Sports

Athletes can be a superstitious bunch. If you win one game after doing something weird or unique, you may find yourself wanting to do the same before every game. Whether you’re a fan of tribal war dances or attacking commentators with talcum powder before the big game, there’s one pre-game ritual which every successful athlete needs. Whatever your sport make sure that you step onto the field, court or pitch in high quality custom sportswear from Team Colours today.

The Haka

Without any shadow of a doubt, the Haka is the most aggressive, most intimidating pre-game ritual in professional sports. Imagine facing off against the All Blacks – New Zealand’s rugby team – after watching them slapping their arms and thighs in perfect unison, shouting at you in a foreign language. This Maori war dance has been performed at every All Blacks game for over 100 years, and when it’s directed at you it is terrifying.

Whatever Usain Bolt Feels Like Doing

The greatest sprinter the world has ever known is exceptionally good at pleasing the crowd before he even takes to the starting blocks. From telling the crowd to shush to doing the robot, Usain Bolt is always a joy to watch. He says that he thinks about anything but running until moments before the race – maybe that’s why his rituals and celebrations seems to change with every race – we’re still fond of his shuffle – but whatever Usain Bolt feels like doing, both before and after his races, you can almost guarantee that all eyes will be on him.

The Powder Clap

Michael Jordan is famous for more than just the movie Space Jam. This basketball legend had an infamous pre-game ritual in every game which Johnny Kerr found himself commentating. Just before the game he’d take a handful of talcum powder, approach the commentator’s table and clap his hands in front of Kerr. According to Kerr this was just because Jordan loved messing up his nice suits. The fun didn’t end with Jordan’s harmless pranks though – Kerr was known to retaliate, with everything from wearing a gas mask to redirecting the powder back at Jordan with a table fan.

Sleeping with the enemy(’s clothes)

NCAA and NBA champion, Jason Terry, has a bizarre pre-game ritual which he kept going since his days at the University of Arizona. Terry would wear his opponent’s basketball kit to bed the night before a game – presumably because you can’t be intimidated by an outfit you’ve worn as pyjamas. If you’re looking to take up this bizarre ritual for yourself, simply get the design and make the basketball kit here at Team Colours.

Bobby Moore’s shorts

Not only was Bobby Moore one of the top 5 British sportsmen of all time, he had a fascinating pre-game ritual which he must have felt made him play better. Curiously, Moore was always the last person in the changing room to put his shorts on, claiming that it kept his shorts well ironed, and kept the crease smart. Before one game when Martin Peters, his team-mate at West Ham, caught wind of this ritual he put the idea to the test. He waited for Moore to put on his shorts, before taking his own back off. Moore, adamant in his ritual, took his shorts back off in protest.

10 Rugby Facts You Might Not Already Know

In honour of the upcoming Rugby World Cup, Team Colours thought it would be a good idea to give our readers some extra rugby education. Prince Harry and Jonny Wilkinson recently launched the 100-day countdown until the much anticipated event. The Webb Ellis Cup will now begin to make its way around the country as part of a UK tour. If the cup is coming to a high street near you, read these top facts as great conversation starters.

  1. Rugby is reported to have originated back in 1823 at the Rugby School in Warwickshire. It’s said that whilst playing football, William Webb decided to pick up the ball and run towards the opposing goal. There isn’t much hard evidence to support this story, but the first Rugby rules were drafted around twenty years later in 1845.
  2. Have you wondered why rugby balls have their unique shape? The first ever rugby balls were made from pigs’ bladders by Richard Lindon. Apparently, pigs’ bladders naturally take on the oval shape when inflated.
  3. Despite the fact that The All Blacks, New Zealand’s Rugby team, are considered the best rugby team in the world, America’s team are still in fact the reigning Olympic Rugby champions. The sport was discontinued at Olympic level in 1924.
  4. Unlike most sports, no single team who has won the Rugby World Cup has managed to keep it two tournaments in a row. This certainly makes for an exciting World Cup tournament.
  5. It was actually a rugby coach that created basketball. He wanted to create a form of indoor sporting activity to keep his rugby players fit in between seasons.
  6. Tries are unique to rugby due to the fact that originally a player wouldn’t receive any points for crossing the line. Instead they would get an opportunity to try to kick at the goal.
  7. The first ever Rugby game took place between Scotland and England. Scotland won.
  8. The player with the highest number of international tries is Daisuke Ohata of Japan with a total of 69 tries over 58 matches. Rugby was said to be introduced in Japan by a Cambridge University instructor who taught the sport as an extra-curricular activity.
  9. South Africa is one of the most successful Rugby nations in the world. The sport was initially introduced to the country by British troops who were stationed in Cape Town.
  10. The All Blacks are one of the most famous teams in the world, not only for their skill, but for the cultural Maori war dance that is performed by the players before a game. The Haka is traditionally performed by tribes and cultural groups across New Zealand.