Updated: Jan 2
5 Tips for Players and Parents for a Successful Tournament Weekend
Tournaments are the most exciting, but sometimes scary, part of club volleyball!
We practice and practice all to lead up to a day, or multiple, filled with games and competitiveness.
Like any other event, preparation is key to success. From preparing practice plans to the starting lineup, your coach has been planning for weeks, so the last piece of the winning puzzle will be BOTH parent and player preparations. These actions start the day before, the car ride to the facility, and throughout the entire day. So make sure you are ready for the long haul of ups and downs while at the tournament.
Here are our top 5 tips to help get your mind, body, and soul ready for your first tournament this season!
Tip #1 - The Day Before Matters!
PACK EVERYTHING in advance and make a checklist to make sure you have all of your gear. Check out the tournament attire guide below!
Eat some carbs! Yes, the stuff we love! Having a carb rich dinner the night before will start preparing your body for the long day ahead. This will ensure that the early morning breakfast isn't landing on an empty stomach.
Go to sleep early! Ya, ya, we know we are asking teenagers to go to sleep, but it really is important to maximize your rest the night before since most tournaments start before 8 a.m., so turn off the phone before 10 p.m.!
Pack healthy and hearty snacks. Ensure that you pack a wide variety of high protein, carbs, and fruits for snacks in between games. Only eating fruit will cause high and low sugar spikes that can cause athletes to "run out of juice" in the middle of a game.
Tip #2 - Be On Time!
Your coach has a game plan and that requires 1) everyone on the team to attend the tournament (lineups are made to maximize everyone's skills) and 2) be there when you are told to be.
Most of the time, if you play at 8 a.m., your coach will require to be at the facility when the doors open. Also, think about the time it takes you to find a new facility, traffic, the line to get inside, finding your court, etc.
A good rule of thumb is to be 1 hour early to the court before you play to ensure everyone is gathered together, gear is on, and warm-up has started.
"If your only 15 minutes early, you are late." – Every Coach
Tip #3 - Set the Standard Upon Arrival
The game starts before you step on the court. This means that you should look like a competitor when you walk in the door.
Don't show up in PJ pants, house slippers, and your blankey. We are here to play a sport, not have a sleep over.
Have your hair fixed and ready to play, we aren't at the salon to have a braid party.
Find your coach and check-in immediately! They will tell you the uniform you need to change into and what the game plan is.
Looking the part is half the battle for a game! If we look good, we play good (since we have practiced a ton too!). Reference the tournament attire guide above!
Tip #4 - Take One Game at a Time
The worst distraction for a coach is to be asked, "Who do we play after this game? or What court are we on after lunch?". Everyone should be focused on the game that we are currently playing or reffing.
Don't spend too much time looking at brackets!
All you need to know is what court you are on and what time your coach told you to be there.
Who cares who the opponent is!
It shouldn't matter who you are playing, our game plan is to win and whoever steps on the opposite side of the net shouldn't have an effect on your performance.
Tip #5 - PARENTS: Your Child is NOT a Professional Athlete
Please do not bring ANY negativity to the court, yes we know all kids are not as good as your kid...but this is a team sport with young impressionable players. Don't be the reason your kid loses their passion before they have a chance to become great!
"70 percent of athletes that quit sports before they get to high school is due to their perception of not being good enough by their family members" - National Alliance for Sports
You are their number one cheer leader on the sidelines
You are their safe space when they already know they didn't play well
You are the difference in their mental toughness
Don't forget that the car rides to and from a tournament can make or break an athletes spirit. Leave the dissection of the games for the next day when everyone is well rested and ready to discuss
ASK QUESTIONS BEFORE THE TOURNAMENT
We are here to help! Your coach has the most information out of everyone you could contact.
Tournament schedules are normally released by the organizers the Thursday before the tournament, however, you should plan to block the entire day and/or weekend to avoid scheduling conflicts.
Players are expected to stay through the last game or reffing assignment (which could be several hours after their last game).