Diamond Valley Eagles Tips For A Successful Tournament
With temperatures set to soar this weekend, here are a few tips put together by Rob Mason, one of our Senior Eagles coaches and a consultant for the Port Adelaide FC, on how to look after your body during the tournament!
- Be consistent with your fluid intake through the week leading up to the tournament – make sure you aren’t dehydrated going into Day 1, as you will start the tournament with a disadvantage!
- Whatever you drink in-game needs to taste good to you, so that you drink more of it. Water is great, but if you can stomach it in-game you should also try to sip on Gatorade or another energy drink. Gatorade helps to replace the electrolytes that your body loses through sweat – water does not do this.
- Post-game, you need to take in fluid to get you back to pre-game levels of hydration. Gatorade is ideal here because you also need to get some simple carbohydrates in to replenish your energy stores. If you don’t like Gatorade, try some snakes or other lollies along with plenty of water.
- Don’t experiment with new foods on game day. Stick to what you usually eat. You won’t perform well with an upset stomach!
- Ideally, have a full meal 3-4 hours before the first game of the day (although this is not always possible with an early game). You want some meat/protein, a small amount of fat and fibre, and some complex carbohydrates such as oats, bread, or pasta.
- Examples of good pre-game meals (from Sports Dieticians Australia) include:
- o Wrap or sandwich with chicken and salad
- o Bowl of muesli with yoghurt and berries
- o Pasta with mince in tomato-based sauce
- o Chicken stir-fry with rice
- If you don’t like eating pre-game, or have a very early game, you should at least try to have a snack 1-2 hours before. This could be yoghurt with fruit salad, banana and some nuts, or vegemite on toast.
- As mentioned above, it’s important to get some simple carbohydrates in post-game. Typically athletes need 1g of carbohydrate for every 1kg of body weight. Aim to have a Gatorade or, if you don’t like these, some lollies as well as rehydrating with water.
- Protein after performance is also essential. Good sources include lean meats (chicken, fish, etc.), milk, or nuts.
- Your post-game meal may also be a pre-game meal for your next game, so keep this in mind and don’t eat a large post-game meal with another game coming up soon!
COOLING DOWN POST-GAME
- In hot weather, your first priority post-game is getting fluid back into your body. A good way to start this is to walk as a team immediately after the game with your drink bottles - find a spare court or quiet cool area to walk a few slow laps for 5mins.
- Your cool down is just as important as your regular warm up for keeping your muscles happy. Take care of your muscles post-game by gently static stretching and foam rolling.
- Some athletes find that changing into compression tights post-game can help to reduce fatigue and soreness in the muscles. Whether or not you decide to wear compression garments will depend on your personal preferences and how hot the weather is!
- Use ice as you would for any other game when injured.
- Ice can also be used at the end of a day (an “ice bath” in a wheelie bin or similar). However, in most places the coldest water from the cold tap is enough to get the same benefit for the muscles without needing bags and bags of ice. On a very hot day you might mix some ice in if the tap water isn’t cold enough.
- Another option is warm/cold contrast showers at the end of the day to help your muscles recover.
- During hot days, you can keep cool with a cold towel - you might like to arrange an eski with ice, water, and small towels in it. Be careful not to share or cross-contaminate towels as this is a great way to get a bug spreading through the whole team!
- Don’t neglect it! 8 hours is recommended as a base level, so the demands for athletes are higher. Aim for 8-9 hours during the tournament if possible.
GOOD LUCK AND GO EAGLES!