The greatest soccer players in the world are only one week away from facing off on the global stage, but before the opening matches get underway, we need to cover a very important part of the tourney: the jerseys. Nike brought their A game and delivered incredible designs that are the perfect mix of style, country pride, and performance. To perfect every detail, the designers traveled to each country, looking for inspiration and studying each area’s rich soccer history. The end results are pretty incredible. Let’s take a look at four of the biggest countries and break down the special touches that bring each kit to life.
When it comes to England, you have to start with their classic Three Lions crest. The white home jersey with blue and red accents features plenty of unique touches, like a rosette emblem along the back neck area which matches the symbol soccer players receive when they make their first in-game appearance. There’s also a 3D brush depth to each number that is inspired by St. George’s Cross. The away jersey is red, which has been identified as the color for this young, creative squad of English national players.
Another classic colorway is Portugal’s traditional red and green look. Nike added just the right amount of flair with a gold Swoosh and an armillary sphere inside the shirt collar as a throwback to the country’s rich history of exploration and discovery. Ronaldo and co. are definitely going to love rocking these all tourney long.
For France’s design, Nike was inspired by the latest fashion trends sweeping through the country. The Gallic rooster logo is proudly displayed on the front. The navy home jerseys feature a solar blue speed print pattern along the arms, while the away jerseys have tricolor specks knitted into the design.
The gold, green, and blue colors of Brazil are built to stand out and these jerseys are no exception. The home jersey is ‘Samba Gold,’ which is inspired by the spirit of Brazil, while the away jerseys are royal. The Seleção emblem inside the shirt collar pays homage to the rite of passage players must go through when they are selected to the national team. Plus, the jersey numbers are styled the same as they were in 1958, when the country captured their first cup title.
**You could win up to $500 of gift cards just by entering our new Eastbay Summer Heatstakes. Sign up now for your chance to win big.
7-on-7 football is growing at a rapid rate year after year. Thanks to its fast-paced play and high-scoring nature, it’s a great way for skill position players to keep improving as they prep for their fall sports season. A major perk that comes with playing 7-on-7 is the gear — most leagues allow athletes to wear flashier cleats, gloves, and clothing than they’re allowed during the fall football season. So what gear will help you stand out this year? We turned to arena football corner and YT star I Know Football for his expert picks on this season’s top 7 on 7 football gear.
“You’ve got padding in the Achilles area here too, but you have some gripped ribbing at the bottom. If you wear cleats with NikeGrip tech, this gripped ribbing works in perfect sync with those cleats.”
Michael Phelps. Peyton Manning. Shawn Johnson. Ezekiel Elliott.
Before these athletes became global mega-stars, they all were given the prestigious AAU Sullivan Award. Every year since 1930, this award has been given to the best amateur athlete in the nation and it’s time to add another name to the illustrious list.
The semi-finalist voting round is now open and it’s up to you to decide this year’s winner! Voting is open until March 20 and you can vote once every 24 hours.
Did you know that more records have been set on The Armory’s track than any other track in the world?
A historic venue, a beautiful city, the most talented high school runners in the world — what more could you ask for? The stage is set for another historic weekend here in New York as The 2018 New Balance Nationals Indoor gets underway.
With athletes like Arria Minor, a top overall sprinter who will be competing in the 200m and 400m, Lanae-Tava Thomas, the number one female long jump athlete, and Brendon Stewart, the top ranked male in the 60m — the battle to be named an All-American will be intense and plenty of new records will be set.
Make sure to follow along with this blog and on our social channels all weekend long for up-to-date content and photo slideshows.
And if you’re at The Armory competing or cheering racers on this weekend, stop by our Eastbay Experience near the awards area to learn more about us, check out some great New Balance gear, and pick up some Eastbay swag. Best of luck to all competing this weekend!
Friday, March 9
As our team arrived at The Armory this morning and made our way to the Eastbay Experience to set up for the day ahead, you could feel the excitement in the air.
NSAF and New Balance staff members made the final touches to the track and the set-up surrounding it as the early arrivers for the morning events began to check in on the first floor. By 9 AM, all systems were a go in the historic Armory building, signified by the firing of the starting pistol and the thunderous noise of runners on the track.
Once every two years, the greatest athletes from around the world represent their countries with pride and compete to etch their names in the history books. This massive event is truly a spectacle, and there may be no one better equipped to break down what it takes and what the stage feels like more than Lauryn Williams. As one of only five athletes, and the first American woman, to take home hardware in both winter (bobsledding) and summer (sprinting) events, Williams can provide unparalleled advice and knowledge on the topic. So we sat down with the legendary competitor to hear all about her experiences on the global stage.
Part 1: Training For The Stage
Q: How did training for a huge event like this differ from how you trained normally year-round?
A: “You don’t train any differently for the games. That’s one of the biggest pieces of advice I give to people who are training for the team. Do what you know works, don’t do something completely different. A lot of times people get poor performance at the games because they are like ‘ok, I made the team, now I have to go above and beyond.’ But the thing that helped you make the team is the thing that will help you perform while there.”
Q: Can you walk us through what your training routine looked like?
A: “I trained roughly three hours a day, six days a week.
We would start with early morning, 6 a.m. weight room workouts, then we’d come back in the afternoon for the running portion. Depending on what day it was, it would be a harder workout or a sprint workout.
Wednesday was our recovery day, so we could regroup — which was really important. A mistake athletes everywhere make is overtraining. A lot of times, you’ll hear people say ‘you need to work smart, not hard,’ and I completely agree. You can’t work yourself to the bone and think it’s going to make you the fastest.”
Q: Competing on that stage also meant added pressure and expectations. How did you prepare mentally for that?
A: “The biggest thing for me was telling myself ‘I am good enough to be here.’ So often you second-guess yourself and compare yourself to the competition, but, in reality, mental prep is knowing you’ve done everything you possibly could to make the result go in your favor. Then you just need to go out there, relax, and realize your potential.
In my sprinting events, I often had only 100 meters. I had 11 seconds or less to make the most of my moment, so if I had spent the time thinking about what my neighbors were doing — it would have gotten me off track and the result wouldn’t have been as good.”
Feb. 9 – Part 2: Competing In Summer Events Vs. Winter Events
Q: You can give really unique insight on this since you have competed and medaled in both summer and winter events. What were the biggest differences between the two?
A: “The biggest difference between the two is the atmosphere and size. When I was on the winter team, we had around 230 total athletes representing the US, whereas just our track and field team had over 180 people one summer. So that one sport is pretty much the size of all the sports for the winter. But that smaller size helps you get to know the people better. It’s a lot more intimate of a community and more of a family environment in the winter.”
Q: How did that transition from sprinting to bobsledding come about?
A: “My track and field career was getting ready to be over and I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do next in my life after sports. So I started playing with some different options and I ran into a friend at an airport. I had just read an article about her trying bobsled and asked her ‘hey, I heard you did bobsled? How did you like it?’ She had nothing but praises to say about bobsled, and what a great opportunity it was. She said ‘Lauryn, you’re fast and powerful, those are two tools you’ll need. So if I were you, I’d give it a try.’ So I did, and six months later, I was at the Games!”
Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you had when you made the switch?
A: “Definitely the learning curve. Track and field is a very individual sport while bobsled is much more team-oriented. It was one of my biggest life lessons — it taught me how to compete against someone but also have their best interests at heart. You want the overall team to win. It was a very steep learning curve, and I depended on the other girls to help me so that I could be good enough to represent the USA.”
Q: As someone who has truly excelled at multiple sports, what advice would you give to young athletes who want to go down that path?
A: “It’s a great way to diversify yourself. I work in financial planning now and that’s a common term that we use, but it applies to multiple parts of your life. You want to be multifaceted so that you can give yourself different skills and strengths. The more things you expose yourself to, the better opportunities you’ll have long term. It’ll also make you more well-rounded as a person. Plus, what you learn in one sport could be useful in another.”
Feb. 16 – Part 3: Favorite Moments Of Her Career
Q: When you look back at your career, were there any moments that really stood out?
A: “I would say in 2012, when I did my part to help the 4×100 relay team win gold and break the world record. I was part of the qualifying relay, but wasn’t chosen to participate in the finals. You would think that would be a negative experience for me, but it was kind of that redeeming moment that I realized in bobsled later: it’s bigger than me.”