A big meet is taking place this weekend and you and your gymnast are putting together a checklist. It’s hard to think of everything that you think your gymnast would need because it is most likely that you may forget a thing or two.
This situation can cause stress, and there have been times where I have seen judges take points off due to silly things such as not removing nail polish. Luckily for you, I am here to help you put together what you and your gymnast need to pack in order for her to be prepared!
Pre-wrap is a type of foam-like tape that comes in multiple colors and is used underneath athletic tape to prevent irritation from occurring from injuries and to prevent chafing. Gymnastics can take a toll on one’s body, therefore, gymnasts use pre-wrap around their hands and feet to protect their skin from getting cut up. Gymnasts usually get pre-wrap the same colors as their team colors to add more “team spirit” to their appearance for meets.
Athletic tape is used to protect a gymnast from cutting up her hands and feet due to her performances especially on the bars and beam. Athletic tape is sticky and can cause discomfort when being pulled off which is why pre-wrap is applied under athletic tape. Athletic tape acts as a supporter for a gymnasts hands, wrists and ankles because it always helps prevent against inflammation.
Wrist Supporters (Tiger Paws)
Wrist supporters are something gymnasts use to help relieve stress on their wrists, help reduce pain from overused injuries, and help support the wrists when it comes to your gymnast performing tumbling skills. Tiger Paws are the most popular brand when it comes to wrist supporters, and are made to give your gymnast the appropriate amount of support to be able to do what she has to do.
Your gymnast will typically wear their grips while working with Uneven Bars (female) and on the High Bar and Still Rings (male). Your gymnast will wear their grips on their hands and it literally helps them have a better grip on the bars, making it easier for your gymnast to practice or perform without tearing apart their hands (grips help minimize tears, rips, blisters, and callouses). The best way to describe how grips look is to say that they are similar to gloves but heavy duty. They attach at the wrist and cover the palm of your gymnast’s hand.
I previously wrote a post on a guide for grips that you can find here.
Hair spray is used to help keep your gymnasts bun slicked back, frizz-free! It is important to make sure your gymnast’s hair is out of her face so it does not cause irritation to her eyes or become a distraction.
You would think scrunchies were out of style, but boy are you wrong! I have never seen so many girls wear scrunchies before, I honestly feel like I am living in the ’80s. Scrunchies are key when it comes to completing the bun look as well as the uniform. Typically scrunchies come with your gymnast’s leo, and it adds more color to her appearance.
The number one use for bobby pins is to keep your gymnast’s bun in place. Just like hair spray, bobby pins are also used to prevent hairs from falling into your gymnast’s face when she is performing.
Nail Polish Remover
I mentioned in my opening paragraph how I have seen judges deduct points from a gymnast due to nail polish being on her nails. Being a girl, of course you love getting your nails done or painting them yourself. You would think nail polish wouldn’t be a big deal but if the nail color or style is obnoxious it can distract the judges. USA Gymnastics does not have a policy where it is totally forbidden, but you should always play it safe and carry nail polish remover incase a situation comes in tact.
Gymnasts usually pack extra clothes to change into, or put over their leo to make them comfortable after a long day of performing. The gymnast I support always throws on her team sweatpants and t-shirt after her meets because it’s her way to relax. Another thing to keep in mind is that meet season is usually during the colder months anyway so you do not want your gymnast getting sick from just wearing her leo.
OF COURSE WATER IS IMPORTANT! Your gymnast is constantly moving around and pushing her body to the best of it’s ability therefore she needs to stay hydrated to be able to concentrate on what she is doing. Obviously if your gymnast is not getting enough water, it will effect her performance and her body. Water is the best thing a human can consume, so always, always, ALWAYS make sure your gymnast has extra water.
Just like water, eating plays a big role when it comes to refueling your gymnast’s body. Your gymnast is working hard and her body is using energy from the food she eats. Eating a healthy snack such as fruit and veggies will help boost her energy and help her perform properly. Going to a meet on an empty stomach can effect your gymnast’s performance because she will not be able to concentrate fully. The same thing goes to eating unhealthy before a meet because it will upset her stomach and can cause cramps or stomach pains.
Comments are appreciated to help improve this checklist. Please feel free to let us know if there is anything that we are missing!