It doesn’t matter whether it’s your rookie season or your 7th season playing professional beach volleyball, you need to make sure you come prepared for every situation. Trust me, when it comes to East Coast events, I’ve played in everything from torrential downpours, hurricanes, scorching heat & humidity to the freezing cold. Packing is no easy task, especially when you’re trying to cut costs by carrying on (and yes, I do need my dancing shoes for post tourney celebration).
Here are some of my must-haves for any event:
- Matching Bikinis (or boardshorts for the fellas): I must give a shout out to Smack Sportswear for coming through last minute with suits for Chicago. They are awesome and my absolute favorite to play in. April Ross/Jen Kessy and Jenny Kropp/Whitney Pavlik also wear Smack suits, so I’m in good company and maybe there’s some magic there…fingers crossed! I’ll get some pics of the suits in action but in the meantime, check out their newly launched websites, VB Superstore and Smack Sportswear. You can order custom made suits for you and your partner or just for yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
- A Volleyball: This depends on which event you’re playing in..NVL, Jose Cuervo, AVP…you must have the right ball. They are all a little different and if you lose even 1 point because you’re not used to the ball, it could cost you a very important win. The next 2 events are the Jose Cuervo, so we will be playing with the Spalding. It’s not my favorite ball, but I’m going to embrace it and play on. The pump is crucial for travel, as it makes things much easier.
- Sunglasses: This is a gimme, but one of the most important. I would be done without my shades. I usually bring 2 pair, just in case something horrible happens. I love my Oakley glasses and I see most of the other players do too.
- Laptop (And other approved electronics): My job requires that I always have access to a computer, even when I’m travelling. It lets me stay connected to the rest of the world when I’m away. My iPad provides countless hours of fun with Netflix, Backgammon and books when I have some downtime. Wait…I don’t EVER have downtime! The headphones are a must have too. I’m always listening to some awesome mix to keep me going throughout my day. And yes, I rock the pink and fuzzy Skullcandys. They are fun and keep my ears warm on the cold plane. Why are the planes always so cold? I mean seriously, its not necessary.
Those are the minimum requirements when I am packing. I also bring an umbrella for portable shade or that surprise thunderstorm. It has come in handy more than you would think. I’m off to Chicago now, so stay tuned for results and pics from the weekend.