I love tournaments! So far, I haven’t actually played in one. Mostly I’ve gone as a bench coach, alternate, or observer. While I hope that will change this next weekend when my team returns to the Low Down Throw Down tournament in Augusta, I have noticed a few things that may help you better prepare for your next tournament.
- Put together a first aid kit. Yes, there will be medics at the venue, but this is for after. There will be aches and pains, bumps and bruises that need nursing before your next game. Make sure to pack Ibuprofen (maybe a PM version if you’re also having trouble sleeping), braces for those old injuries that like to act up sometimes, one-use
ice packs (these were a lifesaver for my teammates last year), and allergy meds (even if yours don’t get bad, someone’s will). Throw in a bag of Epsom Salt, too. There’s nothing like a good soak after a long day of derby.
- Pack a lunch. And a snack. And probably dinner. You don’t know what your food options will be at or near the venue. It would suck to play your heart out in a game and only have hot dogs and nachos available to eat after. Last year at LDTD, my teammate Hello Kidney brought roasted chicken, quinoa, and brussels sprouts. It was delicious! If you don’t have the time or resources to pack something that fancy, bring a sandwich. Just make sure it’s something healthy that will give your body fuel for the next game. It also doesn’t hurt to bring extra in case a teammate needs something to eat as well.
- Prepare to sit. Since you won’t be playing the entire time, you don’t want to get cold and sore from sitting around the venue. Bring a jacket and sweatpants to keep warm. It also couldn’t hurt to bring a cushion in case you end up sitting on the floor.
- If you’re a shift worker, you’ll need a nap. For those of us who work weird hours, tournament weekend is going to throw off your sleep schedule. Elektra Q-Tion mentioned on her blog that she brought an air mattress to a tournament to nap between games. Bring an air mattress or just a pillow and sleep mask. Find a locker room or quiet corner to curl up and catch a few Zzzzs, so you’ll be alert and refreshed for the next game. To prevent being woken up by noise, use earplugs or headphones.