Hello to the gymnastics community! I hope all of you are getting yourself prepared along with your gymnast for the upcoming meet season. For those that are new gymnastics parents, this will be a great post for you because sometimes it can become stressful to know exactly what to pack your gymnast when it comes to meets.
Below I have put together a list that will benefit your gymnast and even yourself.
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
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 overuse 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.
- Copy of Floor Music
It is always best to have a copy for your gymnast to listen to with her headphones- I find this is more of a mental picture thing. She can listen to it for practice and be able to know in her head when she has to perform the certain skills and when to do the tumbling.
Even though your gymnast most likely will not be able to fully practice her routine at the meet, she will be able to do the motions to herself while sitting down.
- Hair Spray
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.
I have never seen so many girls wear scrunchies before in this generation, 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.
- Hair Clips
The number one use for clips is to keep your gymnast’s bun in place. Just like hair spray, hair clips are also used to prevent hairs from falling into your gymnast’s face when she is performing.
Your gymnast is constantly moving around and pushing her body to the best of its 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 affect 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.
- Healthy Snack
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 veggie sticks (carrots/celery) will help boost her energy and help her perform properly.
Going to a meet on an empty stomach can affect 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.
- Nail Polish Remover
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 in case a situation comes intact.
- Feminine Products
You never know when accidents can happen and when it is that time of month there is probably nothing more embarrassing or nerve wrecking than your gymnast having an accident in her leo. ALWAYS make sure that there are feminine products in your gymnast’s bag.
Since it is that time of year for dry and cracked skin having chapstick on hand is nice because irritated and dry lips are not fun to deal with. Your gymnast could become distracted because the feeling of dry lips is quite annoying.
Your gymnast is out there sweating and working her butt off to receive those high scores! Naturally, our bodies sweat when we work out so deodorant will prevent your gymnast from smelling and absorb some of the sweat to also prevent sweat-stains.
Tissues should be in every female’s purse/bag! It is obviously super common to catch a cold, sneeze or even if your gymnast just needs a tissue to wipe something. Tissues have plenty of different usage purposes so make sure your gymnast is always stocked up.
- Extra Clothes
Gymnasts usually pack extra clothes to change into or put over their leo to make themselves comfortable after a long day of performing. A gymnast I know 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.
It is also important to pack an extra leo just in case something happens. Now, I know for meets the gymnasts wear a particular fancy leo but things happen so it is always best to be prepared.
Flip flops/slides are another key “clothing” product to have in your gymnast’s bag. Instead of taking the time to put on socks and sneakers flip flops are much easier for your gymnast to put on and run to the bathroom because you definitely don’t want her to go barefoot!
- Gorilla Glue/Super Glue
Having access to a strong glue will be useful for things such as rips or tears for grips, hair clips, scrunchies, wrist supporters, and basically anything else that can be temporarily fixed just to get through the meet.
- Plastic Bag for Trash/Dirty Garment
Sometimes your gymnast doesn’t have the time to run to the nearest trashcan every single time so packing a plastic bag in her gym bag will be easier for her since she will be able to just throw her trash away there.
Also, if an accident happens and your gymnast needs to change- your gymnast is able to throw her dirty garment in the plastic bag to prevent it from getting on other things.
With all of the stress/nervousness, flipping, turning, dancing, running, etc. your gymnast can get a headache quite quickly.
It is easy to become dizzy while performing a lot of tumbling and it is also easy for your gymnast to experience pain since she is using basically all of the muscles in her body; so having medicine for headaches or pains will help your gymnast continue on doing what she has to do during a meet.
Band-aids are a must as well because it is common for a gymnast to scrape or cut herself since she is using all parts of her body and dealing with heavy-duty equipment.
Please feel free to leave a comment to include anything else that we may have missed!