4 Essential Tournament Tips for All Soccer Players
It's that time of the season, your team has a pre-league tournament to get you back into the swing of soccer, and set the benchmark for where you want to go as a squad this year.
These tournaments that occur early on your schedule really are a great way to start to get your groove back, and can be a fun way to build camaraderie between players as you embark on a new campaign.
Here are four tips to consider when you head to a tournament this year:
1. Eat Well, Sleep Well
Too many young players don't understand the importance and critical value of eating a healthy meal and getting a good night's sleep before the first day of a tournament.
If you're asking your body to play multiple games in a day, with very little recovery time between games, you have got to get the proper nutrition (fuel for your body) and enough sleep to restore your muscles and organs. If you want to be a top-notch player, that catches the eye of potential scouts and coaches at tournaments, start treating your body like a temple and give it the respect it deserves.
The night before the tourney, get to bed early, and when you get home that evening after the day's competition, be it to a hotel, or your own bed, hit the sheets and make sure you're well rested for the important final day of the tourney.
2. Be Prepared
Being prepared for your upcoming tournament means lots of different things to lots of different players, but you've got to ensure you know field locations, check in times, have all your gear and different kits that you'll need to play home or away, etc., and creating a little checklist for yourself a few days before the tournament is a great way to know that you haven't forgotten anything.
Take the time to ensure you've got all the logistics down, and won't be showing up late to the field with one sock and the wrong color jersey, all to the chagrin of your coach and teammates.
3. Recover Between Games
Asking competitive players to play two matches in one day, our four games in a weekend, really puts an intense strain on your muscles and mental capacities. The time you have between games is critical to ensuring you put in good performances.
Chocolate milk is fast becoming the drink of choice to provide your muscles with needed protein after exerting energy in a match. Don't head for the burgers and fries even if they sound great, eat healthy, eat light, and make sure you're hydrating.
Also grab a few z's in the SUV, or take in another game at the tournament while you lounge about and recover your energies.
4. Fight For a 4th Game
As a good rule of thumb, your team should want to play at least 4 games at every tournament you attend. Naturally, it's great to make a final, but getting out of group play and reaching a 4th game, be it consolation, or for your division crown, is something to be proud of and you can reflect on that journey to a 4th game as a success.
Fight for that 4th game to make sure you and your team make some noise at your next tournament, that way you'll have no regrets at the distance traveled, the time spent in the car, and the investment you've made to compete in a regional tournament verse other teams in your state.