Choose Between Two Options
- $45 for a 16”x20” hand-drawn sports illustration of one jersey hanging in a locker room setting ($79 value)
- $55 for a 16”x20” hand-drawn sports illustration of two jerseys hanging in a locker room setting ($99 value)
Mascot Training: The Right Stuffing
Besides an abundance of team spirit and a head the size of an exercise ball, what does it take to be a sports mascot? Read on to learn about the training process.
They are entertainers. They are athletes. They are anonymous. When a mascot is doing his or her job, it’s easy to forget that there’s really a person inside that costume. Being a mascot is harder than it looks, and requires plenty of practice and training.
It starts like this: over the course of a week or two, mascots-to-be attend a training camp where they’ll begin to learn all there is to know about team spirit. That means being emotive despite a plastic-molded expression and developing a personalized performance style that suits both the character and the costume-wearer. It means performing in skits and being able to improvise on a dime, especially if you’re facing the Toledo Legal Tenders. Finally, there are safety lessons—the costumes are hard to see out of and can become hot enough to require as many as four different performers to step in during the course of a game.
Training camp has another purpose: bringing the mascots of opposing teams together. However fierce their rivalry, costumed characters often depend on each other to put on a better show, whether they’re acting out a martial-arts battle or offering selections from Waiting for Godot. It’s also a rare chance to open up to others about the peculiarities of the job. In many cases, mascots are forbidden from speaking while in costume or—even off the field—revealing that they’re the person behind the plush. So committed to this code was Kevin Vanderkolk (alias Bango the Buck) that, he told CraveOnline, he was once locked out of an opposing team’s arena and couldn’t explain himself to the guards to get back in.