Tournament season is coming. You’ve done the sprint workouts, thrown about a million discs, and have your deep cuts on lock. Now here’s how to let those skills shine by dialing in your tournament game and being prepared for anything.
1 week out:
- Make a packing list, check it twice, and gather all the things you need.
- Buy travel snacks.
- Buy your buddy gifts.
3 days out:
- Taper your exercise. (ie. no big workouts or lifts. Let your body recover from practices and build energy for the big weekend).
- Drink water. A lot of it. (This will flush out friday night’s party and rehydrate your muscle tissues so you can sprint like a gazelle).
- Sleep as much as you can.
- Look up photos of the fields if you haven’t ever been there, and incorporate them into your visualization strategy.
- Eat well: carbs, protein and a some fat. Fruits and veggies are clutch.
1 day out:
- Save your plane tickets to your phone / get gas for the van or cars.
- Pack your bags:
- Cell phone, wallet, and keys
- Duffle bag
- Toiletries (+ wet-wipes, ear plugs, nail-clippers and sunscreen)
- Uniform (light and dark shirts) + Shorts
- Cleats (if you’ve got two pairs, pack both)
- Socks, socks and more socks (Three a day. Two for playing, one for clean feet)
- Undergarments, sports bras
- Favorite snacks
- Water bottle, or water jug
- Sweatpants / sweatshirt
- Rain Jacket / rain pants / trashbag for gear
- Puffy / fleece
- Hat / headband / sunglasses
- Compression gear / braces if needed
- Foam roller / lacrosse ball / the stick
- Pillow and sleeping bag
- If you’re a captain make sure these things are also accounted for:
- Team sunscreen
- Shade tents
- Coolers with snacks
- Extra water jugs
- Eat a good meal - one that’s carb heavy with a bit of protein and fat as well. (Studies show that carb-heavy meals are more effective for male athletes, while the ratio of protein should be increased for the ladies).
You’ve finally made it to the hotel. Don’t just attend the team meeting then claim the best bed spot and fall asleep. Take 10 minutes and make sure you’ve got these important things done.
- Fill your water bottle.
- Set out your uniform and comfy layers.
- Foam roll or go for a short walk or jog to get your blood moving around.
- Plug in your cell phone, set multiple alarms and make sure it’s not on silent.
If you’re a captain make sure you have a list of names, phone numbers, and room locations for all your players in case of emergency or if anyone oversleeps.
- Double check you’ve got the essentials accounted for:
- The great trifecta: Keys, cellphone, wallet
- Socks, and extra socks
- Eat well in the morning; something high in carbs and protein that you know your body does well with (ie. don’t go for that enticing tiny Froot Loops cereal box just because the line for the bagel and waffle station is long).
At the field:
- Put your bag in a place where you can easily access snacks and water during play.
- Take a minute to center yourself before the day starts. This could mean listening to your personal pump-up song, some deep breathing or getting one last visualization in.
- Drink water and electrolytes. Some teammates swear by Nuun, some by coconut water, some by pickle juice. Do whatever it takes to get salts and liquid into your system to prevent cramping and muscle fatigue.
- Keep eating stuff that you know your body likes. This isn’t the place to eat that midday burger from the concessions stand. Stick with easy to digest things like fruit, peanut butter packets, pretzels, gold fish, GORP etc. Eat during games and byes, and don’t forget to pound the water while you’re at it.
After a tasty post-ultimate carb and protein-filled meal, you’re back at the hotel, maybe doing homework, maybe hanging out with teammates. But pro-tip, get these things done tonight and you’ll be running laps around everyone in the morning:
- Refill that water bottle, drink the whole thing and then refill it again.
- Re-lay out your uniform.
- Re-pack your bag + fresh socks!
- Get out the lacrosse ball or foam roller and take care of those tight areas. Some people swear by ice baths, but the research is still out on that one - if nothing else it can be a fun team-bonding ritual.
- While you’re at it, get your body lightly moving. Whether it’s a short dip in the hotel pool or some active stretching while watching Avengers, get the blood flowing so your muscles can recover from the day. Great bang for your buck stretches include: 90/90, a couple minutes of this squat sequence, and the couch stretch.
- Pop in those earplugs and go to sleep early and for as long as you can!
You made it! Whether you won or lost this weekend, hopefully you enjoyed yourself. Now for the easiest part. Recovering. This will look a lot like your prep days.
- Sleep (Let your body do the recovery work for you).
- Active recovery (Move your body in low impact ways - go for a swim, or light jog. Either way take a couple days off from track and heavy lifting workouts).
- Drink water
- Lock it in (Before too much time passes, think back to all the great plays you made and good times you had. Make these a part of your next game day self pep talk).
Viola, you’re tournament ready. It may seem like a lot, but all this stuff gets easier over time - it’s just about having the discipline and wherewithal to think ahead and get prepped. It’s what the gamechangers do. If you want to pack your tournament bag early and get a headstart on the competition, check out our apparel and gear offerings. We’re always here to help you live your best life in comfort and style.
There you have it! For more great captains tips and tricks throughout the season, click here to subscribe to the Captain's Resources blog!
OVER TO YOU
How do you stay focused and primed to play your best? What's your must-have mid-tourney snack? Share your best bits of advice in the comments below!