Who is excited for a 4 day tournament??!! I am thinking ALL of you are! You will be playing A LOT of volleyball, road tripping to another state to a really fun city, eating out, staying in a hotel, spending fun times with your volleyball family, and did I mention, playing A LOT of volleyball? And, what is more fun than all of that? Nothing on earth! Ha!
There are some preparations that you should all think about in order to stay healthy, well rested and ready to compete at your highest level for 3 days in a row! 3 days can be a shock to your body, especially for those of you who have no experience with this. And, for those of you that do have experience, use this as a checklist so you donâ€™t forget anything important!
Not just the night before you leave. You will need to take the next several days to prepare your body for the amount of work it will be putting out. Make sure you are getting to bed early all week. Any naps would help too! During the tournament, donâ€™t schedule any late evening team dinners, donâ€™t stay up late if you have an afternoon play schedule; go to bed as soon as you can. If you have a morning pool, donâ€™t spend the rest of the day touring the entire city or swimming and being in the sun for hours. Rest your bodies in between matches and while waiting around; get your feet up, take your shoes off, chill out with your teammates.
BE WELL HYDRATED!
Again, not just the day before. Hydrate all week long. Challenge yourself to drink 1-2 more water bottles per day. You will lose some vital minerals when you sweat. Most notably, potassium and salt. These need to be replenished daily when you are playing or it could be detrimental. An easy option is an electrolyte drink at least once each day, trying to avoid ones with too much sugar. And finally, make smart drink choices when eating out.
Along with resting and drinking plenty of fluids, you have all heard your parents and coaches say, â€˜you need to Eat Like a Champion.â€™ Well, you do! Your choices will affect your performance! Make smart, healthy choices. Try to avoid fried foods, sugary foods and drinks, and overeating. Eat small meals throughout your day including:
- Fruits and vegetables because they are rich in vitamins to nourish your body.
- Healthy proteins (low fat meat, beans, protein shakes, Greek yogurt, nuts) because your muscles are made of protein, and protein is needed to repair the muscle breakdown from all of your gut wrenching efforts on the court.
- And, anything else in moderation – have fun, but be Smart! I promise you, you will feel better and play better!
- Another important recommendation that I will also give is to carry some over the counter minerals that are essential for your energy. Magnesium, zinc, iron, B12 to name a few.Â *Definitely ask your primary care provider or your pharmacist if you have any questions to make sure you can take the extra supplements and if so, an amount that is safe for your body and weight.