10 Best Things to know for Competition Day in Athletics

May 09, 2016 by Angela Coon

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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