The Gymnastics Meet Check-list: What to Pack in Your Competition Gym Bag

Three gymnasts holding medals
Pack your competition bag for success!.

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Your Competition Leotard

Gymnast on balance beam
Dress for success with your competition leotard.

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It seems like an obvious one, but if your club has a special warm-up leo, or you're going to change once you get to the meet -- make sure you put that competition leotard in there. (Maybe even right now!)

Your Grips

Gymnasts putting chalk on their grips
Don't forget your grips!.

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Another obvious one, but we're leaving nothing to chance. Put those grips in there right away, and be sure to add in a backup pair in case something crazy happens and you're forced to use them.

Also, check to see that you have your wristbands, tape, and extra rubber bands if you use them to keep the grips on your fingers or around your wrists. If you use a wire brush or sandpaper, put those in your bag as well.​


Athlete eating protein bar
Bring a snack to outlast a long competition.


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Gymnastics meets can go very long, and you don't want to make sure you keep up your energy. You also may have trouble eating a big breakfast due to competition nerves, so pack several snacks that are relatively small, light on the stomach, and easy to eat quickly. Good choices: pretzels, crackers, granola bars, string cheese (if dairy doesn't hurt your stomach), yogurt, or a trail mix with nuts.

Also, pack a few things to eat when you're done competing. With the stressful part over, you're likely to be starving!

Water and/or a Sports Drink

Athletic woman drinking water from bottle

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Bring your water bottle -- you don't want to have to rely on whatever the meet is going to supply. And throw a sports drink in there too. They can help provide some quick energy too if you need it.

Make sure your water bottle and sports drink can close tightly and won't leak all over your gym bag. Better yet? Have them in a separate compartment or outside pocket.

Hairspray, Clips, Brush, Hair Elastics

hair elastics
Make sure your hair needs are covered for competition.


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If your perfectly-crafted meet 'do comes apart, do you have everything you need to fix it? ideally you've worn it before, at least to a practice, but your rubber band could decide it can't hold on a moment longer, right during warm-ups. Keep your cool by having all the tools you need.

Lip Balm

Young woman applying lip balm


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Gymnastics meets can be very dry, and we swear that dry lips makes you feel more tired when you have to crank out that last tumbling pass on floor. Keep yourself comfortable with some ChapStick in your bag -- and throw in a little lotion too for after the meet. Don't put it on during the meet or your hands might get slippery, but when the competition is over, it can help keep your hands from cracking, and even help prevent rips.

Your Team's Shirt, Warm-Ups and Anything Else

Gymnasts huddling together
Pack all of your team gear.

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You'll probably wear all of this gear to the competition, but if you don't, pack it all in your bag.

Nail Polish Remover

person removing mail poish
Avoid deductions from nail polish.

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In a perfect world, you remembered to take off your nail polish last night, since visible nail polish on the fingernails or toes is usually a deduction at gymnastics meets. But if you didn't, at least you're prepared with a small bottle of nail polish remover and some cotton balls. Put them in a locked baggie so they can't leak either.

And if your teammate forgot to remove her polish, you'll be her hero for the day.


Woman applying deodorant

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No explanation needed really, but the last thing you'll want to be worrying about during the meet is if you're a little bit stinky.


A gymnast's taped up hands and feet hanging from a parallel bar
Bring tape for your hands, ankles or feet.

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Your trainer or coach will have some, but just in case, pack an extra roll of athletic tape if you regularly tape your ankles, wrists, or anything else.

A Change of Under-Clothes

Young gymnasts in a locker room
Pack extra essentials for unexpected issues.

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If you have a long drive after the meet you may want to change after, and it also can bring you peace of mind to know if your sports bra rips that you have a back-up. Weird things can happen on ​the meet day, and being prepared can help prevent any last-minute stress.

Personal Products

An EpiPen
Pack personal items like an EpiPen.


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if you take medicine, bring it along. Allergic to peanuts? Put your epi-Pen in your gym bag too. And don't forget about personal items like tampons if need be.

If you wear makeup, pack it too so you can fix it if need be.

Something That Brings You Comfort

woman holding a four leaf clover
Good luck items and things to relax or motivate you can help.

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Maybe it's a good-luck charm like a stuffed animal, or an inspiring quote or nice note someone wrote you. Tuck in an object that makes you feel calm and helps you keep competitions in perspective.