Aaron Brock Mens Volleyball Head Athletic Trainer How to Pack for Travel

I Don’t Travel Lightly

This article from Aaron Brock originally appeared in the Sports Med ATC.

Are you interested in working with athletes or in a team environment? We’re sharing an article by Aaron Brock on how he packs for long travel stints while working with the Men’s National Volleyball Team. Brock’s extensive packing list illustrates how prepared he must be to deal with a multitude of situations, whether caring for injuries or making sure he has every training need covered. Read Brock’s summary and get an idea of how you might change what you bring to athletic events or training sessions if you’re working with athletic clients. 

Serving as the Head Athletic Trainer for a National Team like USA Volleyball requires extensive travel. We want to be as self-sufficient and effective as possible, which necessitates a comprehensive packing list. My wife, Kelly, and I traveled through Europe after grad school with nothing but a backpack. Oh, the days of simplicity! I’m currently in Rio de Janeiro for some pre-Olympic competitions and I did not travel lightly. We go directly to Rome then to Dallas so this 3 week trip required some heavy lifting. Here is a breakdown of the 9 (yes, 9) bags I traveled with.

  1. Treatment table
  2. 5-gallon cooler – I pack it full for travel and transform it into an ice cooler for treatments in my hotel room
  3. Solaris electrical stim, laser, ultrasound modality in a hard sided rolling case
  4. Medical kit – placed inside large rolling bag for protection
  5. Extra medical bag 1 – 2 Normatec Pulse units, nutrition bars, protein powder, extra bandages and wound care supplies
  6. Extra medical bag 2 – 1 Game Ready unit, peanut butter, carbohydrate gels and chews, OTC medications, extra padding materials, and VERT units for every player
  7. Extra medical bag 3 – 1 DMS unit, 1 Vyper, 1 Hypersphere, 2 Sticks, tennis balls, therapeutic cupping kit, dry needling kit, TENS unit, neoprene sleeves
  8. Extra medical bag 4 – Tape (Muscle Aid, 2″, 1½”, 1″, ½”, stretch tape, self-adhesive tape, prewrap, etc), Biotone cream, skin lube, heel lace pads, Graston Technique instruments, otoscope, and miscellaneous MD supplies
  9. Extra medical bag 5 – Sport drink powder, AED, soft cast material, counter irritant creams, strength bands, rehab bands, power adapters, power strip, extra snacks, and other miscellaneous supplies

NormaTec Boots Pulse Recovery System for Athletic Clients

In order to make sure I have all the necessary supplies, I go through a comprehensive checklist before each trip…taking in consideration which athletes are traveling, the length of the trip and destination. Obviously, I can’t travel all of these bags myself so we assign one extra bag to each player to help with transport. Nobody complains because they know these bags are filled with items to help them achieve peak performance. Believe it or not, in my 12 seasons with the USA Volleyball Men’s National Team, I’ve never had a bag lost. However I have seen a drug detection dog in Mexico City urinate on a bag after sniffing it.

This content is by Aaron Brock. To read more about Brock, click here. You should seek expert counsel in evaluating opinions, treatments, products and services. For more info see our Editorial Policies.

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