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Can your club colours have an impact on a GAA match?

Sunday, 1st May, 2016 1:00pm
Can your club colours have an impact on a GAA match?

Dominance: Skibbereen.

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Fashionista Denis Hurley decided to find out if the colours of a jersey can influence how a team plays

OUR club’s or county’s jerseys are very important to us, but how much of an impact do the colours have on how a game goes? We spoke to an expert to find out.

Joan Cashman, who runs the Colour And Image Academy, has more than two decades of experience as a consultant, working with individuals, companies and charities as well as training department store staff and stylists and make-up artists at her headquarters in Carey’s Lane in Cork.

With no prior knowledge of the senior football clubs of West Cork, her views don’t come with any preconceptions. She certainly feels that the colour of a kit can have an effect.

‘Small differences in clothing can influence others’ impressions,’ she says, ‘but studies on enclothed cognition show that they influence the wearer too – their thought-processes and their mood.

‘What’s on the outside can reflect and change what’s on the inside and clothes can change your behaviour.

‘Colours can have a profound influence on people’s moods, actions and behaviours and give a positive or negative feeling.’

Which goes some way, perhaps to explaining why teams can be reluctant to change jerseys when colour-clashes arises. As an example, she cites O’Donovan Rossa’s red normal shirts and white alternatives.

‘It definitely does,’ she says. 

‘It is proven that you become what you wear. When they’re wearing the red, they’d be more fired-up than when they’d have the white.’

Of course, it’s rare to have a team with just one colour, so it’s how they combine which is important.

‘A colour’s impact can be changed by placing it next to another colour,’ Joan says. 

‘On the colour-wheel, complementary colours are those opposite each other – green and red, orange and blue, purple and yellow.’

Here’s what Joan said after she saw the jerseys of West Cork’s senior football teams for the very first time.

Beara/O’Donovan Rossa: ‘Red and white together is the association of aggression and dominance. Red distracts and intimidates the opponent and white is related to purity, innocence, peace and hope. On the field, this would mean that passion is mixed with a pure, clear vision to win.’

Castlehaven: ‘Blue suggests loyalty and stability. It helps to keep you calm, relaxed and more centred under pressure. The white with that gives clarity of vision to stick to the gameplan. Blue and white share similar emotions, so that’s a combination which performs well.’

Clonakilty: ‘Green is the complement of red and this can cause the eye to vibrate with energy, so the opponents might fear it. Green and red together makes you a force to be reckoned with, you won’t be intimidated. The green provides grounding, the red making you fight for the cause.

Carbery: ‘These colours point to creativity. Purple suggests royalty and luxury, you play with freedom and passion, not smothered by tradition. The complementary colour gives high energy, power and authority, and a sense of the unexpected. There’s a winning air.’

Carbery Rangers: ‘Very much traditional with the Irish flag, the heritage is very important. Yellow provokes lively feelings of happiness and excitement, lots of energy, white for hope and clarity and green for grounding. There’s a lot attached to the land for them and that is seen on the field.'

Dohenys: ‘Green evokes comfort and soothing emotions, with white it creates hope. They’re steeped in tradition and they’ll fight for the club. They’re steady on the ground, they have experience, they know what to do and they’ll carry it out.’

Ilen Rovers: ‘The same colours as Dohenys but in the opposite order – if the white is dominant, there’s more excitement, while if there’s more green you’re more anchored. A lot of white is more action.’

Newcestown: ‘Red and yellow can be an interesting combination. It means that they love the challenge, they play with fierce excitement. They’re very intense, but they have a lovely drive and they enjoy the game.’

Challenge: Newcestown. Action: Ilen Rovers. Stability: Castlehaven. Aggression: Beara. Energy: Clonakilty. Traditional: Carbery Rangers. Creativity: Carbery. Experience: Dohenys.