Tournaments can be really stressful, one thing that helps is having a routine of stuff that you bring with you, these items can be practical or impractical, and they can be there to make you more comfortable or help you perform. Here are 10 items that I always make sure I have with me at tournaments.
- Beverages: Specifically, sports drinks (I like PowerAde), water and coconut water. I also pack a pre-workout for days when I feel sluggish as well as an energy drink to help me for my ride home. I think of the liquids I bring with me to tournaments as being akin to gas and oil for a car, some I use to help me GO, and others I use to help me go smoothly.
- 2 gis and 2 sets of no gi gear. This may sound strange but if I am driving to a tournament I like to make sure I have a second set of competition gear in my car in the event that something gets torn or damaged. Also theres the off chance that someone else in my division is wearing the exact same outfit as me and in that case Ill go with the gi they are NOT wearing (unless its Pony Club Grappling Gear in which case we can go ahead and match.)
- Towel, soap and shampoo. Very often when I go to a tournament I have driven at least 2 hours. If I have a choice in the matter I will shower at the venue the same as I would at the gym if I couldnt head straight home. Generally my team likes to go out after tournaments to celebrate our wins, so its nice to be fresh right then and there.
- A hoodie. Even if its a warm day, I always bring a hoodie with me. I may need to cut an extra pound in my car with the heat on, or the AC may be cranked up super high in the venue, I always try to have a hoodie with me.
- A camera. My cell phone is normally my camera, but I try to record as many of my matches as possible. I make my best effort to make my matches as spectacular as I can, and win, lose or draw I can always learn something from re-watching the tape.
- Bananas and granola bars. Most tournaments Ive been to have garbage food at the concession stands. Were talking crappy nachos, hot dogs, pizza etc. Im there to compete and I need energy throughout my day.
- Earphones/Music. Tournaments can be stressful; music can be a good diversion to distract from the stress.
- Footwear. When Im at a tournament, I need to be able to put me shoes and take them off relatively quickly and easily. For this reason I like to wear sandals or clogs when I compete. This way I can slip my shoes on and off without making too much effort, and it doesnt hurt that they are comfy.
- Lip Balm. I dont know about anyone else, but the day after I compete my lips are always super chapped. Im not entirely sure why, but I have found that frequently applying some sort of lip balm at a tournament alleviates this problem.
- Anything else I generally have with me at the gym. I try to treat tournaments as high stakes open mats, so it stands to reason that anything I may need at the gym I may also need at a tournament.
What items do YOU bring with you to tournaments?
Emil Fischer is an active blue belt competitor under Pablo Angel Castro III training with Strong Style Brasa and is sponsored by Pony Club Grappling Gear and Cruz Combat. For more information, other articles, and competition videos check out his athlete pages at www.facebook.com/emilfischerbjj www.twitter.com/Emil_Fischer and https://instagram.com/emilfischerbjj