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.

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Darren 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, Instagram, Anchor or via email.

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