Packing Your Bag for Competition Day
I love working on becoming more and more efficient with what I pack on competition day. Seriously guys, it thrills me! Clearly I'm a nerd, and everything pertaining to wrestling and competing is my jam! Competition day (and traveling to competition) are times where you want to pare down to your necessities and emergency extras. You don't want to have your competition bag filled with extra things you don't need, making it hard to find the things you do need!
Preparation doesn't end when you leave the practice room. You must learn to be disciplined in more than one area, and that includes how you prep yourself for important events. How many times have you gotten to competition and are missing critical items? Being habitually messy in your personal life can effect how you handle different situations. This may seem like unimportant nuances, but getting to the next level is about paying attention to those nuances. The skill of preparation will spill over into the other areas of your life!
Step 1- Clean your bag out! Completely!
Most likely, this is the same bag you are taking to and from practices each day. Therefore it's probably a mess as it naturally will become over time. You don't need those left over food rappers and homework assignments cluttering your bag. It really makes it difficult to find the things you need on competition day. Do the right thing, clean it out :)
Step 2- replace if needed
if you're in the market for a new bag because your current one is falling apart, check out this past blog on great athletic bags.
Make sure if you are on the hunt, you find a bag or backpack that fits all your needs. I am not an advocate for buying something just to buy something.
Step 3- Set out morning clothes
Choose what you will wear in the morning for your warm up and have it set out ready to go. I will even stack all my clothes in order of what I will put on first in the morning. Seriously, take the guess work out for yourself. Knowing what I will put on as soon as I wake up helps relieve the stress of getting ready in the morning. I don't want to accidentally pack the clothes I need and have to dig in the morning trying to find it! So first thing first, set out your morning clothes.
I make sure to wear what I'm comfortable warming up in, and then I change into my singlet. Of anything, I 100% recommend changing your shirt after your warm-up. Having a fresh shirt really re-sets your mentality to help you change from warm-up mode to competition mode. If you have a favorite shirt you feel awesome in, throw it on after you've left some sweat on the mat!
Step 4- The must haves for competing
My rule always is this; as long as I have what I need to compete and step out on the mat, everything else I forget really wont matter. Singlet, shoes, head gear, knee pads, and mouthguard. I don't compete with headgear, but whether its required or not, I always bring it. If you have other must haves on your list in order to compete, then make sure those get packed in this step!
Step 5- Rehydration, Snacks, Warm-Up Gear
Two water bottles; one for water and one for my rehydration packets. This is a fairly small sampling for food I bring, but bars and a fruit are always necessity for me. If you want the full list of snacks to bring to competition, check out THAT BLOG HERE. I also focus a lot on rehydration, so sometimes thats where a lot of my calories and sugar energy can come from. Hair ties. DUH. I am obsessed with my Trigger Point travel roller and it is always part of my warm-up. I also bring a jump rope in case I need it for in between matches. If you listen to music in your down time, throw in your head phones here. Add anything else you need to refocus and prepare as you compete throughout the day.
Step 6- The Extras
Extra socks and underwear. Feminine hygiene products. Extra hair ties (you always break one, or you will always have a teammate who forgot theirs, be that girl with extras). Finger tape, extra knee pad from the one you're wearing for competition. Finger nail clippers (if you bring them, guard them with your life. Someone WILL walk away with them after borrowing). These items won't make or break you, and you'll probably have a few more to add to your list, but you'll see that over time having a few things here and there can help in those emergency situations.