10 Best Things to know for Competition Day in Athletics

No matter what your athletic goals,learn the 10 Best things to know for your best competition day ever.


1- Allow more than enough time to get to the track and warm up.
The time you need to set aside includes the time it takes you to get to the location of the meet, the size of the meet and level of the competition. Always plan to add at least 15 minutes, preferably 30 minutes on top of your warm up just in case. The younger the athlete the more moderate the time needed but you still want to set yourself or your athlete up to succeed. Hope for the best but plan for the unexpected.

2- Nothing special.Two words you need to learn, repeat and practice.
Competition day is about repeating what you have already been practicing. Don’t make changes, forget about well meaning onlookers, put your blinders on and make the most of what you have already been doing in practice.

3- The smaller the meet the more likely it may not run on time.
This is not always the case but depending on the time of your event, begin to track the schedule of the track meet as soon as you are able so you can plan when your warm up begins.

4- Don’t make changes or decisions about anything on competition day.
Your job at the competition is to see how you are able to perform based on where you are at for this moment. Make an analysis after the competition or a few days after and preferably with your coach. After you have done this you can plan to decide if any change is needed.

5- The most important night to have a proper sleep is the day before the night before your competition.
It’s expected that your nerves might make sleeping tough but resting up the night before that ensures you don’t go into the competition without sleep.

6- Preparing yourself as an athlete to be independent and self-reliant
will empower you and train you to be responsible for yourself in case your coach is not able to be around during the competition. Routinely support from a coach or parent is great if you have it but some meets don’t allow it and sometimes it’s not always possible. It’s best to have a plan for competitions that includes the coach not being around.

7- Don’t listen to anyone except your coach.
If you are at a track meet and people are offering advice let them know to speak with your coach. If you are a coach it’s your job to teach your athlete to avoid listening to others or train them to direct questions away from them especially during a competition. People may mean well but competition is not the time to make changes or have discussions that might distract you from your event.

8- Dress properly. Keep your equipment with you at all times.
 Layers provide the best warmth for your muscles. Plan for change of weather and pack everything you need but as pack as lightly as possible. If you need to travel for the competition take key things for your event on carry on.

9- Take notes.
Reflection of your process in training and in competition can be a powerful tool for improvement. It’s also a great to look back on how you progressed and compare your times and have a record of your accomplishments.

10- Nerves contribute to performance and are a necessary bi product of preparing to compete.

Routines, habits and replication of what you do in practice help you prioritize your energy for performance.

Set yourself up to succeed, have fun while doing it and Get out there and follow the 10 best things to know for the best Competition you can have.



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Yusuf, Thank you for your comments.

1. Ideally, you train each day at the same time to maximize adaptation. Training at different times of the day is not ideal. Each meet will start at different times and in different time zones.

2. The best and most effective way to “train” the CNS is to maximize adaptation each and every day.

3. Some ideas to maximize your CNS adaptation for speed training.

a)practice habits like routine regeneration.

b)avoid overtraining by using sound method of speed training practiced by coaches with consistent results over time. For example, Master Coach Charlie Francis believed alternating high intensity training mixed and alternating with low intensity training was best. Note. Each individual is unique and must be treated accordingly. The idea of individualization respects each persons unique adaptation rules for thriving.

c) learning what nutrition is best for you as early on in your athletic career is helpful. While expresso works for some, others it might put asleep or keep them for quality sleep. Sleep is one of the biggest natural performance aids available for athletes.

4. Feeling “flat” may have more to do with muscle tone not having adapted to stimulus in warm up, too little or too much work 24 or 48 hours prior to training. Muscle tone that can’t be managed or controlled might indicate lack of preparedness?

To summarize, it’s difficult to train yourself for the times of meets because meet events vary from level to level and meet to meet. The healthier you are and the more prepared you are the greater the likeliness of you replicating the results you’ve performed multiple times in practice.

“Sprint your own race”

Coach Ange Coon

Coach Ange

good article! might want add one more thing, coming from personal experience; is to get use to the time of day you are going to compete at. i am use to training at night, due to work, but my comps are usually earlier in the day. twice felt ‘flat’, due to i trained my CNS to be more awake at night. things changed when i changed my training to earlier in the day. Then there’s always a “Triple shot of espresso” LOL :)))…

if you have some time, i would like to discuss some ideas.


Hello Joe,

Preparedness is essential in the execution of the training that has already taken place.

Preparedness without having a solid training program will not yield miracles.

Solid training and an excellent results during training won’t ensure success during competition.

I was taught that time must meet chance. It might take several attempts for a recordable result to happen.

I don’t see why these rules for competition would not apply to all sports.

angela coon

This works for any sport?

Joe Ross

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