How to Avoid Pre-Competition Panic: Use a Packing List

29 Items a Young Athlete Should Include On Their Packing List

A big part of performing well is being prepared to perform well.

To be properly prepared for a competition, a young athlete needs to make sure that they have packed everything that they need or might need.

A reliable competition packing list serves a number of obvious purposes. Most notably it becomes a part of a familiar pre-competition routine and decreases the possibility of the dreaded panic that sets in when it is realized too late that something important has been left at home.

A big part of performing well is being prepared to perform well.

Young athletes should create and regularly use their own packing list. The list can be written on a piece of paper, kept in a training diary or stored electronically. The list can be added to or updated as required. Some ideas of what to include on a packing list for an athletics (track & field) event are below.

I recommend that young athletes – under the guidance of a parent and/or coach – be made responsible for creating their packing list. Give them ownership of it. I also believe that young athletes – when old enough – should be responsible for packing their own competition bag and ensuring that all items are checked off the list.

Sample Competition Packing List

  • Competition top
  • Competition bottoms
  • Competition socks
  • Competition shoes
  • Tracksuit/warm up clothes
  • Warm up shoes (e.g. joggers)
  • Implements for warm up (e.g. shot/discus)
  • Food/snacks
  • Drinks/drink bottles
  • Towel for sitting on/stretching/keeping warm
  • Towel for soaking in cold water on hot days
  • Spray bottle for keeping cool
  • Wet weather gear (e.g spray jacket)
  • Change of clothes incl. spare socks
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Spare plastic bags
  • Small first aid kit
  • Tissues/hand wipes
  • Training/performance diary
  • Phone/iPod & headphones (for warm up/between events)
  • Spare spikes and spike key
  • Spare laces
  • Medication (e.g. asthma puffer)
  • Measuring tape
  • Sunglasses
  • Deodorant
  • Insect repellent
  • Umbrella (for shelter in wet weather or shade in hot weather)

What else would you include on a competition packing list for a young athlete?

Have you ever used a competition packing list? Does your child or athlete use one? Are there any items that you would add to the above list? Let me know by leaving a reply/comment or by using the below contact details.

20150614_154020-1Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes and founder of the blog coachingyoungathletes.com. Learn more about him here and connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedin , Anchor or via email.

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