03 Aug The Importance of Lacing Sports Footwear
Are You Lacing Up Right?
The most important part of a tree is its roots. If the roots aren’t at least as big as the rest of the tree, it will fall. Without roots, any tree, regardless of size, will wither in one way or another.
As an athlete, you are a force of nature. Which means you must follow its rules. Like a tree, you must start with your roots.
Many athletes do this by nurturing the roots of the mind. They discipline distractions & practice pure focus for entering a flow state.
The mind is like the branches of a tree, quite literally guiding one as it grows higher & higher, competing with other trees for light.
But loose roots will cause any tree to fall down, so what about your physical roots?
John Wooden was the first person inducted into the basketball hall of fame as both a player & coach. He believed that the feet, the roots of the human body, were the cornerstone in building an expert player.
In an interview with Devin Gordon, Wooden said, “The most important part of your equipment is your shoes and socks.”
We Need to Talk About Socks
Blisters are a common occurrence in most sports. However, according to Rich Levin, Wooden’s sub, he couldn’t remember anyone on the team ever getting a blister with Wooden as a coach.
How did he do this?
“You must not permit your socks to have wrinkles around the little toe – where you generally get blisters – or around the heels. It took just a few minutes, but I did show my players how I wanted them to do it. Hold up the sock, work it around the little toe area and the heel area so that there are no wrinkles. Smooth it out good.”
Now, the most important part – Lacing.
Obviously, your shoes must be the right size – but that size isn’t always what you think it is. Many brands (Nike, for example) are known to “run small”, or be tighter/more narrow in some places than other brands. It is important to test different brands & sizes to find that perfect fit. Perfect, so that you can let your feet go with the flow, & let your head focus on doing the same – staying in the game.
Once you’ve found the perfect shoes, Wooden wants to make sure you’re wearing them perfectly, too.
“The shoe must be spread apart – not just pulled on the top laces. You tighten it up snugly by each eyelet. Then you tie it. And then you double-tie it so it won’t come undone.”
It may seem like a lot of work on such small details, but as Wooden said, “I think it’s the little things that really count…it’s the little details that make the big things come about.”
One Step at a Time
Like many masters of any art, Wooden understood that a wall is built with little blocks, & the little blocks are built with even smaller grains of sand.
A tree cannot grow to any meaningful height without first developing larger roots underneath. These roots may be invisible to the other trees, but growth is impossible without them.
No matter whether your play basketball, football, hockey, or simply like to jog – stick to the basics, remember your laces.
For more words of John Wooden, visit this article by Newsweek.