FUEL Soccer Talk for 9/27: Pricey Soccer Uniforms, Winning Attitudes, and Preventing Head Injuries

Today we look at some pricey soccer merchandise, how to find your winning attitude, and new gear for preventing head injuries and concussions.

It’s Thursday, not long until game time this weekend. Here’s what’s fueling our conversations this morning.

1. Would you pay $235 for a soccer uniform? (CNBC)

This one just made us laugh and cringe at the same time. It’s a look at the prices of soccer apparel in the UK, but it still hits close to home.

Would you pay $235 for a soccer uniform? from CNBC.

When we look around at the all merch we’ve picked up, we don’t even want to think about how much it all adds up to.

What has us really talking, though, is thinking about the different kinds of merch. At least in the case of the replica uniforms, you could still wear them, so they have some use besides just showing support for the team.

Fan Service: Do you buy branded merchandise to support your favorite team? How do you like to show your fandom of teams?

2. Karns girls soccer coach Jeff Monckton instills winning attitude in players (Knox News)

When asked for tips or secrets on how to win, you will often hear everyone from coaches to parents to players talk about a “winning attitude.” It’s one of the aspects of competitive sports that seems easy enough to understand as a concept, but is a lot harder to actually put into practical use.

That’s why we’ve flagged this piece from a Tennessee coach, and his explanation of what a winning attitude really is.

“A winning mindset is knowing you’re a good player and act on the thought that ‘I’m going to do everything in my power to outsmart my opponent, outdo her in every category.’ That’s my mindset – ‘I’m not going to be beaten by anybody.’ Winning starts in the mind.”

That first piece – “knowing you’re a good player” – is one we’ve seen a lot of players falter on. It’s easy to lose perspective and boil the game down to training, stratagem, and maneuvers. You forget the whole reason that you’re even on the field is because you’re a good player, too.

True to form, that winning attitude, that refusal to lose sight of the fact that you yourself are a major factor, is showing real results for Monckton’s players.

“Campbell County was a district game and it was a tough win. The score was 3-0 and it wasn’t easy. We won by sticking with it, grinding it out. We had to battle for every inch of grass. The girls never stopped and they never allowed Campbell County to get into the game at all.”

That “grinding it out” is the result of the attitude. The players wouldn’t have even tried to battle for every inch if they didn’t think they would get any results. But they had the right attitude, they knew they were good enough, and so it was worth sticking, worth grinding, and worth battling.

Mind Set: How do you personally maintain a winning attitude through your games? How does your team training support that mind set?

3. Key piece of gear can help prevent concussions in girls soccer (8 ABC Tulsa)

This is an interesting report out of Oklahoma on a new study regarding head injuries in youth soccer. A group of scientists at Virginia Tech have been researching the issue, and specifically looking at prevention.

“They just released the first ever ratings for soccer headgear and say the risk in the girls sport could be reduced by as much as 70 percent with the use of padded headbands.

“Even though on any given play you might be more likely to get hurt playing football, you play soccer more, and that’s more exposure and more possibility of getting hurt,” Rowson said.”

But currently these headbands aren’t standard, regulation parts of the uniform. Instead, they’re look at as a form of treating something that’s already happened.

“And the science says it works so why don’t more girls wear them? It could be because they see headbands mostly being worn by players who have already suffered a concussion.

“They see it as something has happened that’s resulted in them wearing this right now. They’re not seeing it as a preventative measure,” Cipoletti said.”

Safety can often be a contentious issue among players, coaches, and parents. But these headbands don’t seem to tick all the usual safety controversy boxes – they don’t interfere with player mobility or vision, they don’t alter the rules or pillars of gameplay. This one seems like a no-brainer, pardon the pun.

Safety First: Do you think this piece of equipment should be made standard in all soccer? How do you prevent head injuries in your play currently?

What’s fueling your soccer conversations today? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan and tell us your point of view.