Today’s Topic: How to Have a Successful Summer Travel Season
Hi everyone, my name is Jimmy Yoo. I’m one of the high performance coaches here at Complete Performance Coaching. Today I’m going to be talking about the summer sport season.
This summer, I’m traveling to a few places like Denver, Utah, and Bend Oregon as a lacrosse coach. My travel team is going to be very busy. I want to give you all tips on how to have a successful summer travel season.
Having a Successful Summer Travel Season
I thought Coach Sara and Coach Rebecca did a great job talking about summer and how to take it easy, and how to transition into different sports and do something fun. For travel sports players, they do it for different reasons. A lot of them are looking to get college looks. They want to go to these showcase tournaments and get college coaches to notice them, to see them play. Others are doing it just to have fun.
Striving for Success
There’s another group that plays travel sports, like Lacrosse, because maybe they’re on a high school team or they’re in a club team. If they’re not that good, they may want to play in the team in the summer with a bunch of players that are good. Maybe this way they will find some success, go to tournaments, and win some games.
There are multiple reasons why people play club sports in summer. I think they amp it up a bit. Understand that it’s not as intense as a spring sport or a high school sport where you’re going every day. The big thing to me is that you’re flying and going to these destination tournaments. Part of summer vacation for athletes and club sports is traveling somewhere fun and playing at a tournament against different teams across the country.
Getting Enough Sleep
The first thing travel athletes need to consider is sleep. Sleep is the important thing. When looking at MBA players as the MBA finals finish, you see this big discrepancy between playing well at home games versus traveling to the opponent’s home. You can see how poorly they play. I think the same thing happens with travel sports – if you don’t prepare and don’t sleep, you can produce this poor performance.
As parents and as athletes, make sure that when you go to these travel sport destinations, that you go early, maybe a day or two ahead if you can afford that time. This allows you to acclimate to the new place and make sure you get enough sleep.
The last thing you want to do is fly out late, arrive late, check into your hotel, and then wake up expecting luck in the eight o’clock game. That’s the worst case scenario. Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for good performance.
Nutrition and Ensuring You’re Fed
The next important thing to remember is is nutrition. When you’re playing for your high school team, you go home after a game. You have all of the luxuries of getting to sleep in your own bed and mom and dad give you food. You’ve got food all around you, and you don’t have to worry about it, You can snack whenever. If you’re injured you get to go see your trainer in the morning. You go back to school, see the trainer, and fix any ailment.
When we’re traveling, we’re staying at a hotel, sometimes we’ll forget to bring food. The worst thing that I’ve seen with travel sports and traveling during these tournaments is kids are flying late and they forget to get food for the next day.
They’re skipping breakfast and they don’t have snacks in between games. They show up for that first game and they play fine because they still have some energy, some fuel left from the night before, and then they totally burn out.
They’re done by game two and by game three their legs are completely done. This is why it’s so important to get enough sleep that first night and prepare nutritious meals and snacks to keep fueled up for tournaments.
The first thing you should do when you arrive is buy food. Go to the grocery store, get snacks – get everything you need for the day. Get Gatorade, or whatever sports drink you like to drink, and maybe dilute it a little so you drink it during the day with water. Hydrating is equally important as having food all day, having fuel. Breakfast is especially important for tournaments.
I know for Lacrosse they play at least five games in two to three days, and with showcase tournaments they’re also playing two or three showcase games. That’s eight games in two to three days. So you want to make sure again – sleep, hydration, nutrition, get it all in.
Go Have Fun
The first day is for acclimating, the second day is a fun day. You’re traveling with the team, you’re going somewhere fun, and you’re kids. As athletes you’re going to have fun. Go play with your friends.
After those rounds of games, go play in the pool, go in the hot tub, play some Fortnite in your room. Just make sure to shut it off. Make sure you get that 10 to 12 hours of sleep so you’re rested for that final round of games, those championship games. I have so many athletes that want to play and stay up all night playing Fortnite. It’s the greatest thing right now, and they’ll stay up until two or three in the morning, then they show up the next day like zombies when you really want it to count.
Again, sleep, nutrition, fun, but remember to shut it off.
I talked about this in the past – when you go in the games, approach the pre-game like you would practice. Instead of thinking you need to impress coaches and you need to play this well, you just need to relax.
Maybe you need to listen to music before games, before you get dressed, before you suit up, stretch, and hit the field. Listen to something fun that will help you relax. You don’t want to be worrying about coaches, about getting recruited, which D1 schools are going to take you or call you. Just relax and perform like you would at practice.
The other thing that I’ve mentioned in the past is this idea of when, what’s important now. As you get into those live moments, as you get into the games, don’t worry about coaches or who is on the sidelines. Don’t worry about what people are saying.
Be the hero and show that you are amazing. Go out there and play. Play your game, execute the game plan that your coaches have put out there, and have fun. That’s all you need to do to impress the coach. If you’re playing lacrosse, you don’t need to show that you can score every goal or run through 20 people. If you’re playing baseball, you don’t need to hit a home run every time you’re at bat, just go out there and play. Show them that you’re passionate, show them that you can work hard, and show them you’re a team player and play in the moment.
Those are my tips for a successful summer travel, for going out there in that summer season, having fun, working hard, enjoying where you’re going. Just play to be effective.
I had a team that went on a “no-sleep” weekend. It was an absolute disaster. We flew out late, our flight got delayed, and we didn’t get to our destination until midnight. The rental car place was closed so we had to wait an hour to get the cars. By the time we got to the hotel it was two in the morning. The kids were finally in bed by three.y
Our first game was at nine o’clock. We had to be at the field by eight, so we got up at 7:30. It just so happens we played really well that weekend. The kids got zero or very little sleep, but we won most of our games, ended up winning the championships, and winning the tournament that season. We called it the weekend of no sleep.
Doing Well by Chance
That can happen. By chance you could play well in environments like that. That’s not setting yourself up for success and that’s not building that consistency on playing sports, going out there on these travel games and playing at our best consistently. We got lucky.
Go there early, set yourself up of success, balance your schedule, don’t stay up all night. If you can build that consistent performance, one that will help you in the summer season. As you get into high level programs, you’re traveling a lot. It will really teach you how to get your travel mindset and to really make away games, traveling, and spending the night in hotels part of that home routine. You make your home routine away.
If you have any questions, please post them. I ‘m happy to answer and reply to any other questions that come up. If you have stuff for next month’s Facebook live, please post that as well. Thank you.