6 Reasons Your Team Should Enter a Tournament This Season
Tournaments in the USA are something of a lightning rod, many coaches and experts around the game feel that tournaments put too much strain on young athletes, and argue that soccer takes so much energy that our players should not be playing multiple matches in one day, or up to five games over the course of a weekend.
It's easy to see both sides of the that debate, but here are 6 reasons your team should consider entering at least one tournament this year.
1. Team Building
There's nothing more fun for young players than piling into a van and heading to a tournament with their buddies, few experiences go as far as traveling, competing, dinning, and often lodging together over a tournament weekend.
The bonds that are created can really go a long way in building team chemistry and inducing a solid camaraderie that all coaches are looking for amongst their players.
2. Rotate Your Squad
Because there is such a physical toll put on players when they participate in a tournament, it gives coaches the chance to rotate their squad and give minutes to players that might have be on the periphery in normal games.
There is no substitute for game day minutes, the weaker players on your team won't get better if they're not consistently immersed in the speed of play of a real game.
Use a tournament to give your lesser-skilled players the chance to improve and develop, it will go a long way towards rounding them out as players, and will prove invaluable if you're team picks up injuries and one of those periphery players is called into action to become a starter.
3. Play Different Opponents
Playing the same teams in your league can grow monotonous for players and coaches alike, tournaments are a great way for your team to compete against Clubs from all over your state, and exposes all involved to different styles of play and approaches to the sport.
Having your players go to battle against different teams will make you stronger when you return home and challenge for your local league title.
4. Teachable Moments
If you play up to four or five games in a weekend, there's going to be a plethora of coachable moments for you to experience with your players.
The highs and lows will no doubt be present through it all, and you can use the drama and intensity of a tournament weekend to help educate your players and make them stronger for the stretch run of your competitive season.
5. Create Lasting Memories
Whether you win every game in group play and then go on to hoist the cup, or you lose every single match your team plays at the tournament, you are creating lasting memories both on and off the pitch.
Long after young players reach adulthood, many will still tell you that some of their best memories of playing soccer are from going to tournaments and having fun with their friends.
You don't have to leave a tournament as a champion to have a good time, though that is nice, it's all about exposing your players to new environments that help them develop as people.
6. Spread Your Brand
Lastly, going to a tournament and having your team put in a performance that honors the game is a great way to spread your Club's brand across your state.
So saddle up the team, get the carpools arranged, find a hotel with a pool, and head out to at least one tournament this season.