Participating in a tournament can be a fantastically productive event while also serving as a team building experience and one that results in lots of fun for your players. Based on our experience, we wanted to provide you with a small list of things you might not consider as you prepare your team for the tournament.
Player passes are complete (or are being completed)
If you have guest players, secure their cards for registration
Remind parents to check the cleats of your players to ensure a proper fit. Players at this age are prone to growth spurts and can make for an uncomfortable experience
Remind your parents to keep the event in perspective. No standings are kept at small-sided tournaments. Tell them to cheer like crazy for their kids without providing the dreaded “Kick it” or “Run” mantra from the sidelines. Mistakes will be made – the referees will be knocking the rust off just like your players. Please don’t yell at the referees.
No sleepovers. While a lot of fun that night, it leads to a sluggish and unproductive performance for game day.
Check to make sure your balls are inflated, passes are in your possession
Every player should double check they have everything they need: uniform, cleats, socks, flip-flops or sandals for between games, water bottle in the fridge, etc.
Remind the parents that you should arrive approximately 30-45 minutes before game time
Last check to make sure everyone has directions
Due to the heat, players should not eat or drink acidic liquids or dairy products (orange juice, milk, eggs) as they’ll risk stomach aches. Dry foods like breakfast bars, pop tarts seem to make the most sense
Get a nice glass of water when they wake up
Get a shower to knock the cobwebs out of the brain
Sun block should be applied to all players and family members
Each player should bring ample re-hydration supplies with them (water, Gatorade, etc.). Should you forget, we will have plenty of food at our concession stand
Consider a second pair of socks – normally with such hot and humid weather during the summer, a fresh second pair of socks will ensure a comfortable experience for the second match
Players should take off their cleats, shin guards and socks between games to let their legs and feet air out
Be sensible about your mid-game eating. Parents and siblings should head over to the concession stand and eat as much as possible!
Re-apply sun block
Most importantly, make it a memorable experience with your team and have tons of fun!