Swim Coach Survival Kit

coach survival kit tags

Swim team season officially ends tonight with a swim and pizza party, swim medal presentation, and gifts for the coaches. We have four swim coaches for our team. Three are college students, and the head coach is a science teacher during the school year. The swim team mom in charge of the coaches’ gift decided cash would be the most useful for the coaches rather than gift cards or something more specific. She needed a way to present this present, so I offered to make these easy potholder clutches.

I originally saw the idea on a site called Tidy Mom. They are really fun (and fast) to make, but you will need a sewing machine. I filled the finished clutch with items a coach might need at the pool. We filled the first pocket with the cash.

coach survival kit supplies


  • square potholders (The Tidy Mom post suggested potholders from Target. I had a hard time finding single square potholders. I ended up purchasing 2-piece oven mitt sets from Kmart. My square potholders are 7″ x 8″– not a perfect square– with a loop along one short side)
  • Scotch tape
  • snack size Ziploc bags (6 1/2″ x 3 1/4″)
  • sewing machine
  • ~7/8″ button (coordinating color)
  • thread (coordinating color)

coach survival kit tape bags


  • Set your potholder on a flat surface with the loop on the right side. I kept the potholder pocket on the outside, but it is up to you how you want your potholder to face.
  • Place one snack bag on the right side with the baggie opening facing the right edge. Place a piece of tape on the top and bottom to keep the baggie from moving.
  • Place another snack bag on top with the baggie opening facing the left edge. The center should overlap with the first baggie. Place a piece of tape at the top and bottom.
  • Continue alternating baggies right and left. I liked 5 snack bags (=5 pockets). The Tidy Mom post used 10, but the bags fill up fast if you include bulky items and then the clutch won’t close.

coach survival kit zig zag stitch

  • Sew a zig zag stitch down the middle of the potholder, which should also be down the center of the Ziploc bags. Cut any loose threads. Carefully remove the tape from the edges without pulling or stretching the plastic bags.
  • Fold the clutch in half and pull the loop around to the front and eyeball where the button will need to be placed. If you do not have a loop on the potholder, follow the Tidy Mom site’s directions for adding a loop.
  • Attach the button with coordinating thread. I used green thread and black/green buttons in honor of our swim team colors.

coach survival kit buttons

  • I printed gift tags on white cardstock and tied with curly ribbon to the loop.

coach survival kit finished

Survival Kit Content Suggestions

  • plastic comb
  • chapstick
  • sunblock stick
  • gum
  • Bandaids
  • hair rubberbands (for the girl coaches)
  • travel toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Tylenol or Advil
  • Tums
  • travel size lotion
  • travel size shampoo
  • some cash or change (for trips to the snack bar or soda machine)

coach survival kit contents


  • Flatter items work better. The sunblock stick took up a lot of room. I ended up removing the toothbrush and toothpaste because the combination of the 3 created too much bulk.
  • When possible, I used items that matched our team colors (black comb, green gum, black and green hair bands). I did not force the color thing, though.
  • Don’t cheap out on the Ziploc bags. I bought CVS generic brand on sale, and they are a little flimsy. I wish I had used Ziploc or Glad snack bags.
  • This could easily be adapted to a Teacher Emergency Kit for a great back to school teacher gift. It could also be used for many other sports as an end of season coach gift. It is not very girly if you use solid colored potholders, so it works for males and females.

coach survival kit filled