When you go to a tournament or meet, you want to be able to direct 100% of your focus on the competition.  The last thing you need is the distraction that comes with realizing too late that you’ve forgotten your headgear or singlet at home. If you don’t have the right wrestling gear with you, you’ll end up forfeiting your matches and watching all the action from the sidelines.

To make sure you’re properly prepared for each event, it’s important to take your packing duties seriously. Instead of throwing a bunch of wrestling gear into your gym bag five minutes before you leave the house, try to do everything the night before so you have ample time for the task.

Although your specific needs might vary according to personal preferences or the type of meet you’re attending, most wrestlers pack some version of the following:

  • Uniform. You’ll need a singlet for a sanctioned event, but could get away with a t-shirt and shorts if you’re just going to a scrimmage.
  • Shoes. At most tournaments, you won’t be allowed on the mat without approved wrestling shoes. You might also want to bring gym shoes so you can work out or jog outside to loosen up.
  • Headgear. If you wrestle at the scholastic (high school) or collegiate level, you’re required to wear headgear at all competitions.
  • Warm-ups. Some schools provide warm-ups in team colors for you to wear over your wrestling gear between matches. If your school doesn’t do this, then sweatpants or track pants and a hoodie will work.

In addition to wrestling gear, a lot of athletes choose to pack miscellaneous items to help them get through the long day. These are optional, but you’ll be glad to have them on hand as the hours slowly drag by.

  • Food. Healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, trail mix, or energy bars can give you a quick boost when you need it. If you want to drink Gatorade or something other than water, be sure to toss a couple of bottles into your bag.
  • Electronic devices. Many wrestlers like to bring an MP3 player, smartphone, tablet, or Nintendo DS/PSP to help pass the time.
  • Money. It never hurts to have some cash in your pocket in case of emergency.

When packing for a wrestling meet, you could absolutely get away with the bare minimum of your headgear, singlet, and shoes. But you’ll be more comfortable and have a better time if you go the extra mile and pack everything listed here.