It’s finally game day after all those months spent training just to make sure you can make the team, guess what? You finally made the team. Well, now what?
Well, especially if you're traveling to a different location if you are participating in a tournament. Therefore, you need a volleyball tournament survival kit or, as I like to call it, a volleyball gameday checklist.
All volleyball pros know that packing their volleyball bag essentials the night before they have to travel for their tournament is very important to how prepared they are for the trip and the matches that are to come. However, for someone that is just starting out, how do you even know what it is that you need to pack?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I have curated for you the perfect volleyball bag essentials that will help to prepare you for any volleyball tournament that you might have.
Hey, I understand that you might be reading this article the night before you need to travel for your tournament, and all you need is just the list and nothing more. Here is a list of the volleyball bag essentials for gameday.
Note: You would need a bag to pack a volleyball bag essential, if you don’t already have one, you can read this article on Best Volleyball Bags.
1. Volleyball Shoes
3. Water Bottle (Mineral water, Coconut water or sports drink)
4. Game Socks
7. Warmup shirts
8. Change of Clothes
9. Knee Braces
10. Ankle Braces
11. Sweat Towel
12. Contact Lens solution
13. Shower Towel and Soap
14 Volleyball Bag Essentials [Tournament Essentials]
1. Volleyball Shoes
Why is this item the first one on my list? Well, I don’t know… maybe because there is no official volleyball tournament in the world that will let you play without a pair of volleyball shoes. I know that it might seem intuitive to take your volleyball shoes along with you on a volleyball trip, but you’d be surprised at how many players forget their volleyball shoes.
Okay, why is this important again? When you go for a tournament or even just a friendly volleyball game at another location, it is necessary for you to prepare yourself physically for the game by practicing with a volleyball. I know you’ll probably say your team has its own volleyball, but I am sure 6 other players on your team have the same idea. You should have your own ball that has your name boldly written on it with a permanent marker that you can practice with at any time.
Two volleyballs that are good for both indoor and outdoor volleyball are the Molten Flistatec Volleyball and the Tachikara Sensi Tech Composite Volleyball. You can also check out our more detailed post on Best Volleyballs of 2020.
3. Water Bottle
This is a no brainer for any player at all, period! Okay, seriously though volleyball is a serious sport, I don’t care what the haters say, and this means you would sweat a lot while you play and any break you get, you should try to hydrate and also replace your electrolyte. The best way to do that is by coming with your own water bottle filled with some form of energy drink or coconut water. Also, you have no way of knowing if the water found at the venue of your volleyball match will be a good one that has no taste.
Two water bottles that are good for keeping your drinks cool and still make you look cool during your volleyball matches are The Coldest Water Bottle Insulated Jug and the Embrava Best Sports Water Bottle.
4. Game socks
A pair of volleyball game socks are more than just another accessory that makes you look like a pro volleyball player, and while that is cool, it is a necessary part of how comfortable you feel while on the volleyball court. Have you ever tried playing without volleyball socks before on a volleyball court? Well, I have, and I have to say it was not pleasant. My feet kept slipping inside my volleyball shoes, and by the time I was done, my shoes smelled awful.
As a player on your way to becoming a professional athlete, you have to understand that when you feel comfortable in your own kit, it increases your chance of playing at your best. This is why I recommend that you take at least two pairs of volleyball socks with you. Also, if the volleyball that you are participating in a beach volleyball, then you definitely need to grab some volleyball socks to help keep you comfortable.
Two of the best volleyball socks for indoor volleyball include the Mizuno Core Crew Sock and MadSportsStuff Volleyball Logo Crew Socks. For outdoor volleyball, you should go for the Tilo Sport Skin Socks.
5. Volleyball Uniforms
Trust me, it is easy to pick up your favorite volleyball shorts, and even shirt while forgetting to pick up the team uniform for the game. I don’t know how else to put this, so I’ll just say it the best way I know how; YOU NEED TO TAKE YOUR TEAM UNIFORM WITH YOU SO THAT YOU CAN PLAY ALONGSIDE YOUR TEAM. I hope that was subtle enough for you.
Your team should be able to provide the best volleyball uniform for you.
6. Knee Pads and Knee Braces
Knee pads are necessary for protecting your knee against bruises that you might get when you fall on the court, and also, depending on the impact protection capacity of your Knee braces, they can prevent fracture too. Also, if you are already used to playing with knee pads, trust me when I say it is going to feel super awkward for you to play any volleyball game without them. Little things like how comfortable or incomplete you feel can affect your overall performance in a game, and this is why I recommend that you don’t forget to add them to your Duffle bag.
Two awesome knee braces for volleyball are the Muzino LR6 Volleyball Kneepad and the Nike Essentials Volleyball Knee Pads. You can also read our recent full-depth article on the Best Knee Braces for Volleyballers.
7. Ankle Braces
Considering how much lateral movements happen in the sports of volleyball, especially at the professional level, it would be careless for anyone to play the game without a way of protecting their ankle. Therefore, apart from getting a volleyball shoe such as the Nike Women’s React Hyperset, you also need to get a pair of ankle braces that you feel comfortable in.
Also, if you are already used to playing with ankle braces on or have had one form of ankle injury or the other, it would feel awkward playing without them.
Okay, maybe this one is not exactly an essential for everyone, but if you are a private-time freak like me, then you should already know how important it is to have a pair of headphones on standby every time. If you are someone that really likes his/her privacy and can’t do without their headphones during your downtime, then I suggest that you don’t forget to pack your bag with your favorite sound thumper.
9. Warmup clothes
Before you finally get to show off your awesome volleyball Kungfu, there are times when you would have to sit on the bench or jog around the volleyball court to get yourself warmed up for your match.
To ensure that you do not sweat all over your team uniform and also to prevent you from staining your uniform, you need to have other layers of clothing. The warmup clothes should be one that you can easily wear over your tops and shorts, and easily take off without needing to remove your extra kits.
I know that most Volleyball tournaments provide refreshments for their athletes, but chances are that you might not like the options presented to you. Volleyball tournaments are usually so fast-paced and tense that most players usually neglect eating all together.
However, this is a list for people that want to play and pack for volleyball tournaments like a pro; therefore, you need to eat during breaks.
The breaks during matches are usually short, and therefore, it doesn’t give enough time to eat full meals. This is why it is important for you to buy snacks that release energy fast.
Some of the snacks you should consider packing include Fresh fruit, Nut bars, Sandwich (Rolls with honey, jam or banana), Crackers with peanut butter, Sport bars containing carbohydrates and protein, and some homemade baked goods.
Most people would forget to pack this little but important apparel and would only remember it when they need it in the middle of a match. After a full day of playing volleyball and sweating profusely or minimally (whichever the case may be), there is a level of satisfaction that comes with having a sweat towel nearby. A sweat towel makes it easy for you to wipe your face quickly, and even during a match, it allows you to feel refreshed.
12.Content Lens Solution
This one is not for everyone, but if you are like my friend that require a contact lens to see properly (or for fashion), then it would be very wise to have a pack of contact lens solution with you. This might seem like overkill, and I know that it is not very likely that your contact lens would fall out. However, if it does happen, you don’t want to put a dirty contact lens back in your very fragile eyes.
Opti-free Puremoist Multi-purpose Disinfecting Solution with Lens Case is a good option to try out.
13.Shower Towel and Soap
I don’t know about you, but the best thing to do after a good game (or a back one) is to get in the shower and wash away my sweat with soap and water. Also, having a good towel on standby to clean my body with is definitely a great plus for me, and I don’t mean a sweat towel.
Here is a good moisture absorbing towel that you can use to wipe your body after a shower: Ariv Collection Premium Bamboo Cotton Bath Towels.
14.Change of Clothes
There are two types of change of clothes you can opt for depending on the situation. The first is the athletic change of clothes. Depending on how much you sweat, you might need to bring along some extra top and shorts that you can change into during the day. Also, another teammate might need an extra short for some reason, and it would be nice to provide help to a teammate.
The second type of change of clothes that you need to pack is the “going out clothes.” Hey, you just might never know when a social event would pop off after a volleyball tournament match. You don’t want to be that one player in the whole team that wears their Team uniform to an afterparty or social gathering.
What to Expect at a Volleyball Tournament?
Tournaments are usually competitive, stressful and the days are usually long. It is a good idea to get to the venue early so that you can have a feel of the whole arena and get some time to train personally before the official matches begin.
Different tournaments have different setups, but most of the time, the general set up involves morning pool plays, and afternoon bracket plays. Ensure that you use your breaks to get the nutrition and hydration that you need, as this process is fundamental to how you play and tire out.
In the end, just remember that it is no different from how you have been playing before now. There is probably a championship at stack now and more eyes watching, but, in the end, it is still a volleyball match, so, play it like one. Play it like a very important one, but do not overexert yourself because it will not be the last one.
Why is it Important That I pack the Night Before a Game?
I highly recommend that anyone going for a tournament pack their volleyball bag the night before they actually travel because it prevents them from rushing the packing process. It is okay if you decide to do it two days before that actual travel date, as long as you don’t need to use anything in the bag during the day.
The morning you are traveling should not be filled with the anxiety that comes with wondering whether or not you forgot something important.
There you have it folks, the 14 essential items that most pros pack in their volleyball bag. However, since everyone is different, your list might be longer than this one, but it should rarely be shorter than the one given above.
Good luck in your big game, give it your best like always and get some rest to ensure that you are always ready for the next day.