Team Travel 101
CONGRATULATIONS to your athlete for being named to team New Brunswick. It is huge accomplishment! Now that your gymnast is on the team it is time to get ready for team travel. This can seem a little intimidating the first time around but I promise they are going to have so much fun! You might be wondering what to pack? What happens once you drop your athlete off at the rendezvous point? What they will be doing while away? How much contact can I have with them? How much money will they need?
Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.... Time to pack up! It's a good idea to sit down and make a list - putting the most important things first. In our house the order of importance goes this way: Bodysuit, grips, Team NB Jacket, clean underwear, toothbrush. Everyone’s list is different, but if you have the competition stuff covered (bodysuit/ singlet, grips, Team NB jacket), a clean change of clothes for each day, pajamas and bathroom kit (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, brush/comb, elastics, hairspray) should be enough. Don't forget to pack a nicer outfit for the banquet/dance at the end. There's normally something nice at the end of the weekend. It is also a good idea to pack a smaller bag for your athlete to take on the bus or plane with them. In this I would pack head phones, chargers, lots of snacks, and a small blanket.
Leaving on a Jet Plane.... What happens next? When you arrive to drop your athlete off to the bus/ Airport their team coach will be there to check them in and help load their things. Once all the athletes arrive and are loaded up they are off! FYI parents-This part is way harder on you then it is on them!
Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn.... Once the Team arrives at their Hotel/ lodgings for the weekend room assignments are given to them. Their roommates will usually be of the same age group and level as your athlete but sometimes that varies a bit. The athletes are given a schedule for the weekend with their room key and they must always have a buddy wherever they go. Their schedule lets them know where to go and when. Each group has at least one chaperone.
Hellloooo? It’s Me.... So it’s 730pm day one and you are really starting to miss your little gymnast, don’t worry parents, you can always face time or text or call your little as long as it is not too late. Whether or not they want you to is a totally different story. Usually by this time they have settled in and are having a blast! When you see your athlete at the venue through the weekend it’s totally ok to go talk to them ...again if they let you, they may turn around and walk the other way.
Money, Money, Money.... How much is enough? The answer for this is different for everyone. Most times the team will send an email for what meals are covered. If a meal isn’t covered I usually budget about $15 per meal, sometimes she will spend less but very rarely will she spend more so it evens out. The next thing that I look at is if they are going to a shopping mall, if they are I will usually give her some money for this. Any outing that is planned by the team is usually covered so no worries there. After I add that together I usually add $20 for incidentals.
Mama, I’m Coming home.... By the end of the weekend the kids are exhausted, and ready to be home but don’t necessarily want to come home. You can expect them to be talking your ear off for the rest of the day with all types of stories, things that made them laugh, who did what, and all the new lasting friendships they made.
In The End.... The first time your Athlete goes on team travel will always stress you out until it is over and you see how much fun the kids had. It is an experience that they will never forget. Each year you will find what works for you and your athlete but hopefully this song filled guide helped to prepare you a little bit and answered some of your questions about what team travel is like. Good luck and have fun!
~ Morgan Stevens, aka Syd and Keely's mom