The journey of a first volleyball tournament is a thrilling adventure filled with excitement and a dash of nerves. For many, it marks a significant milestone in their volleyball journey, opening the door to the world of competitive play. Whether this is your very first volleyball tournament or you've taken a break since your last club season; here are some things that can help you prepare for the day.
What to Expect
Navigating through Nerves
Facing your first game or club match can be nerve-racking, especially for young athletes. But guess what? It's absolutely okay to feel a bit anxious. Embrace those nerves – it's all part of the thrill. Remember, every player, regardless of experience, has been in your shoes.
When Things Get Heated
Sure, volleyball is competitive, and we all want what's best for the kids. But here's a tip: yelling at the ref when a call doesn't go your way isn't the best way to express frustration. Everyone watching shares the same goal – supporting their athlete.
Get ready for a long day. One-day tournaments can stretch for more than a few hours. Planning to be there from 8 to 5 is a good approach. Now, if you're diving into a two-day tournament, the dynamics shift slightly. The first day might be anywhere from 6-8 hours. The second day, however, is where the real adjustment happens. Brace yourself; it's likely to be bracket play, meaning you could find yourself playing one game or you can be playing four.
How to Prepare
Pack Bags the Night Before
Searching for kneepads under the bed on the morning of the tournament? Let's avoid that. Make sure your bag has the essentials: a team backpack, jerseys, shoes, kneepads, ankle braces, and a warm-up shirt.
Nutrition and Hydration
Being a well-fed and hydrated athlete is important. Pack enough water to last through several games and bring sufficient food to keep your energy up for the entire tournament.
Know Your Schedule
Knowing your schedule helps set the tone for the day. Be aware of when you need to start your day and know the location where you're playing. With so many tournaments, it's crucial to be in the know.
A good night's sleep is a game-changer. The day will bring a mix of nervousness and excitement, and that can be energy-draining. You'll play in numerous games, so being mentally and physically rested is vital.
The thrill of competitive play not only opens new doors for team growth and enjoyment in the sport of volleyball but also serves as an opportunity for personal development. Despite the seemingly long day that will inevitably fly by, it's essential that you prepare mentally and physically so the thrilling volleyball games can be a transformative experience, contributing tremendously to both individual skills and the collective spirit of the team.
Share with us your first tournament experience of the 2023-2024 club season! Were you prepared? Were you nervous? Did you have fun? We would love to hear what it was like for you to play in your first tournament of the season.