Four tactical tips for players before a tournament (via Go4)
- Turn off your phone and TV and just sleep.
- Sleep is often an afterthought for young athletes. Either they do not “feel tired” at night, or they are too used to late night homework (or video game) sessions and waking up in time to make the bus. But did you know that student-athletes who sleep less than 8 hours per night have a 32% increased likelihood of being injured versus those who get 8+ hours a night?
- When you sleep, your body decreases blood flow to the brain and increases blood flow and protein-building substances to your muscles to promote healing and recovery.
- Hydrate – it will take time!
- Every coach and athletic trainer will tell you to hydrate, but young athletes do not know exactly what that means.
- So here is your concrete formula: Your weight is the number of ounces of water you should be drinking 48 and 24 hours prior to your tournament, e.g., 150 pounds = 150 oz → 4.7(ish) x 32oz Gatorade-sized bottles of water. It’s a lot more than you expected, isn’t it?
- What about a pre-event meal?
- If your parents played sports in high school, they might remember big team pasta dinners the night before games. Like so much of sports science, we now know that most of your energy comes from your pre-game meal about four hours before the event.
- Keep the high protein/high fat meals for the day before. Your pre-game meal should be 500-1000 calories of mostly carbohydrates and starches.
- Avoid concession foods, which can be high in fat and sugars.
- A great example meal four hours before your tournament would include a bowl of low-sugar cereal with low-fat milk and low-fat yogurt with fruit.
- Don’t wait until game day if you’re injured.
- A tournament or showcase will intensify the pace of play and competition. If you think you might have an injury, get evaluated before you show up on game day. Nearly 60% of amateur athletic injuries happen during practice!
- If you need treatment, arrive early! This pertains to any game, tryout or tournament that you will attend throughout your career. Typically, there will be one athletic trainer to every two fields at an event, meaning you may need to wait in line.
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by our partner, Go4, in an ongoing series of health and safety-related posts.
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