With a baseball tournament coming up, you have a lot to get straightened out. Rides, food, baseball, fitting in, baseball. You get the idea. Fortunately, no matter how scared or excited you are, there have been countless players that have been there before. Plus, you’re going to have a great time, so don’t sweat it too much.
While a checklist is super important in your preparation, we’ve also included 3 bonus topics to help you get the most out of your tournament. Including the checklist, these topics are:
- A checklist of what to bring (with downloadable PDF)
- How to mentally prepare for the tournament
- Setting goals for the tournament
- Enjoy the moment and have fun!
With this guide, your team, coach and self should notice the solid contributions and growth you made during the tournament. So, without further adieu, let’s go!
The Ultimate Travel Baseball Checklist
It’s so frustrating to forget something to travel baseball, and it’s bound to happen to you…
UNLESS you use a checklist!!
Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of items that are needed for a typical baseball tournament AND we’ve made it into a nice downloadable and printable PDF file for you.
Be sure to check out WHY we included certain items below. Some are not so obvious!
- Download the PDF file here.
- Print the PDF file.
- Customize the list to your needs by adding or removing items.
- Start checking off as you pack!
- Understand why we included some items which may not be obvious by reading the list below.
Congrats! You’re now one step closer to having a successful tournament!
- Uniform (jersey, pants, belt, socks)
- Bat bag
- Batting gloves
- Eye black
- Extra baseballs
- Extra shoelaces
- PJ’s or sleeping clothes
- Extra socks
- Sandals or comfy shoes
- Casual wear
- Dirty laundry bag or garbage bag
- Dugout jacket/sweater
- Bathing suit
- Formal wear and shoes
Clothes for Colder Weather
- Winter gloves
- Winter footwear
- Sweater or hoodie
- Hairstyling product
- Lip balm
- Shaving supplies
- Nail clippers
- First-aid ointment
- Insect repellent
- Pain relievers
- Contact lenses/solution
- Game schedule/itinerary
- Water bottle
- Cell phone
- Cell phone charger
- Laptop/tablet charger
- Ear buds
- Credit/debit cards
- Deck of cards
- Sunflower seeds
- Mini soft cooler
Despite all the excitement and buildup, a baseball tournament is still at its core, baseball. As you know, baseball is a game that requires patience. It’s a day-by-day game. You can’t hit .400 in a single plate appearance, but instead only over multiple plate appearances.
Because of this and all that excitement, I’m going to remind you here to be patient: don’t be too anxious at the plate and get yourself out. On defense, be alert and under control. Just like in the pros, don’t take any plays for granted; stay with the play!
In the most baseball-y of reminders: don’t beat yourself up over mistakes like errors or strikeouts. If you’re a good player, you’ll make thousands of them over your career. Have the “short baseball memory,” or confidence you’ll succeed next time. Be ready for the next play, because it’s always coming in baseball.
The last reminder I want to give you that comes from my education background is to set goals before the tournament, just like you should before most everything (year in school, new season, etc.). These goals, though, shouldn’t just be about final outcomes like getting so many hits or above a certain batting average.
Our goals in no matter what field, should be more process-oriented, because sometimes you don’t win that award or get whatever “external reward” you might be hoping for. That doesn’t mean you failed! Sometimes the hits won’t come and that doesn’t mean you should tear everything down and start over.
If you’re only looking at the results, you’re likely ignoring the very things that get those results.
For those goals, try and set achievable markers that’ll indicate to you and others your success, while helping you continue to grow from it. For example, let’s say your goal was to not become disengaged on defense all weekend or to have at-bats where you were more selective towards pitches in certain locations or situations. Great! Or maybe you set your goal as being more prepared to jump on a pitch while still being patient.
Whatever your goal is, actually think out how you’ll approach it. What will some of the difficulties be? How will you recognize success towards it?
One of the most important and achievable goals players can set is to be a great teammate. Everyone can do this, and everyone benefits from it. As talked about in many of this sites other posts, one of the main things coaches are looking for is whether you’re a team player who makes others better. A team leader, even when you’re not hitting .400.
If you come ready to play your hardest and look to improve, you’ll do just that, amazing yourself and those that support you.
Enjoy the Moment and Have Fun
Despite all the innings, grind and MILES involved in your upcoming baseball tournament, it may tend to fly by. Time flies when you’re having fun and you’ll be sure to have plenty of that. Have fun, first and foremost. As you get more advanced at this game, the more you remember it’s a kids’ game, the better off you’ll be. Really.
So don’t get hung up with whatever might upset you for a moment or a night. You only have so many of those moments and nights too, so look to share them (as well as some laughs) with your teammates and family.
It may be nice to “hit .400”, but the better players among you already realize that it’s not the only indication of whether you’re actually improving. It’s that process everyone talks about! Learning how to consistently have good at-bats has so much more bearing on your future success than whether you hit some grounders or pop-ups one weekend that found a hole.
Thanks for reading! Be humble, have that “short baseball memory” towards mistakes, reflect and always look to get on base!