Bquipped Equipment Education

Packing for a Field Hockey Tour

Oct 9, 2014

Field hockey tour of new zealand

Whoo - hoo! I’m going to New Zealand on a field hockey tour with the U.S. Women’s National Team. How exciting is that? We leave on October 11 and we won’t be back until October 28.

How do you plan for 21 professional field hockey players plus all our coaches and managers to hit the road? We thought you’d ask that.

When you are packing for a field hockey tour there are always things that you are required to bring, such as your uniform, stick bag and basic practice clothes (mostly light-weight synthetics so I can train hard.)

The most important thing when traveling in a large group, though, is to not over pack; your bag can’t weigh over 50 lbs. So, let’s break it down:

Packing for Three Weeks of Field Hockey

I normally pack all of the essentials first - like my field hockey sports equipment. For my professional field hockey career, this means two uniforms, turfs (shoes), mouth guard, sticks, and shin guards - they all get tossed in your stick bag. Now I can move on to all of the other stuff I need to bring.

When you are on a field hockey tour you basically wear sports clothes the whole time. I’ll spend most of my days either practicing for a game or getting ready for a game. There is some down time, too, but I’ve only got room to throw in one or two outfits besides my athletic gear.

Another thing we need to bring is spandex (or a bathing suit) because we use these for our pool workouts or ice baths after the game. On top of all those work clothes - I know, tough job, right? - I’ve got to squeeze in my personal items, like a toothbrush and deodorant. Look out boys!

Managing the Field Hockey Equipment

So the team and coaching staff all travel together and we all help with getting the equipment to the airport. We normally take a bus or a few vans to the airport from the Nook (our training center; Spooky Nook, Lancaster, PA).

We pack up all of the gear on the bus and head to the airport as one big team. And then we proceed to check in. Once we are in the airport we are each given a little bit of money (called a stipend; remember as a pro athlete I’m actually traveling for work) for food.

After that, we are on our own if we want to buy more things in the airport. When we get on location (on this field hockey tour, it’s New Zealand) everything is provided for us in terms of meals, lodging, and laundry services.

We do have some snacks that I will mention later, but any other snacks you want outside of the ones provided to you have to be purchased. This also goes for purchasing coffee or gifts on the trip; you are responsible for pretty much anything outside of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

And I just want to emphasize that, honestly, we’re taken great care of. It’s like getting an all expenses paid vacation, really -- except the part where I work my butt off.

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Who Does the Laundry on a FIeld Hockey Tour?

In terms of organization and managing the team, we have a team manager who is in charge of all of the logistics of being on tour.  She is the one who holds our passports, checks us in at the airport, and is basically in charge of us (party! woot woot!) while we are away.

It’s also her job to make sure we get to games on time, and have the facilities we need to warm-up before the game and recover after the game. If we hit any glitches, she’s the one who has to resolve them. Trust me - I wouldn’t want to be in charge of 21 girls in a foreign country on a field hockey tour.

Oh, and she also organizes the laundry when we are on a field hockey tour and makes sure we have the option to either wash our clothes at the hotel, or she personally takes them somewhere in the city to get washed.

Our trainer, on the other hand, is in charge of snacks in the hotel. She keeps them in her room during the trip. Remember that I’m burning thousands of calories a day practicing and playing - so getting enough muscle-building protein, muscle recovering electrolytes, and water are two essentials to staying healthy.

I’d love to tell you that I’ve been excited for weeks now as we’ve been getting ready of the field hockey tour, but, really, the reality doesn’t kick in until you start packing. And it doesn't end until you arrive in the country.

I’ll also get the jitters when it’s time to play a big game. Even though I train hard, and fuel my body carefully, I still can’t wait to get out there on the field. 


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