I realize that I have written about this topic at different times in the past, but after catching some of the Men's National Championship weekend on television, I am disappointed to see Head Coaches dressed so poorly. It is just not Men's College Volleyball, but also Women's College Volleyball.
It is as if we need to have a Television Dress Code for Head Volleyball Coaches, much like a nice restaurant or golf course mandates a certain style of dressing (not the Thousand Island or Ranch type of dressing). I just stare amazed seeing coaches dressed like they are going to Wal-Mart when they are on national television.
Khaki pants and a polo is not dressing up, a wrinkled unbuttoned long sleeve shirt is not appropriate to wear at a national championship event.
Perception is everything in today's media and marketing driven world of collegiate sports. The ONLY time I have seen a men's basketball coach in a polo shirt during a televised game is at the Maui Invite Basketball tournament. I have never seen a women's basketball coach in a polo on television, much less the national championship. Looking down the bench, even the team managers dress nice in either dresses or suits - Basketball(s) is very conscious about how they are perceived and I applaud them for always looking professional, no matter the venue.
(OK - Any sporting event played in Hawaii which is on TV, is a free pass to wear casual clothes but you must have some type of floral pattern on the clothes. Coach Shoji can wear t-shirts with a plumeria on it with no criticism, along with his staff).
If we (Volleyball Head Coaches) dress casually, then our sport will be treated casually. Once again, good old Dr. Phil was correct when he said we teach people how to treat us. When we appear second tier as professionals, then our profession will be treated second tier. If we present ourselves and our sport as a first class endeavor, then at least we will look first class while we strive to be treated first class.
How much effort does it take to put on a sports jacket? How much time does it take to find a nice top? Is it too much of a stretch to find a sweater vest? I am not talking about wearing an Armani suit for a 10 a.m. Saturday tournament match in September.
One would think that with as much emphases as the AVCA and power conferences/coaches place upon getting television time, that someone would mention that it would be a good idea to look well dressed for the National Championship.
I hope to have to agonize over my national championship wardrobe one day!