Playing in a Tournament and The Benefits
How do YOU find a tournament?
The coach or the manager have to spring into action and get organised by going through the following steps.
- Find a soccer tournament that is the appropriate level for the kids.
- Speak to other coaches in your club or at other clubs for advice.
- Get feedback online.
- Make sure your whole team can go. If not find players so you are not short-handed.
- Cost can be divided among the team which makes it very affordable for the families. Bag packing is always a great way to raise some money and you may have to hurry!!
- Local or travel? If you are a select team look at travel but otherwise go local. There are some good local tournaments in every area which catered for teams of all levels.
- Register for the tournament – normally have online registration.
- Check with the tournament admin to see that they got your registration and payment.
- Put together a schedule which should include maps/directions and get games schedule from the tournament organisers so you can plan your breaks and rest periods.
- Make sure your check the weather and bring sun scream
Coaching tip: Schedules normally come out a week prior to tournament start date. So, prep your parents and players so they know what to expect.
Get your team ready…
- When the weather is very hot shorten warm up times or if mild you can do a full warm up.
- You and the team have anywhere from 2-3 games in a day so make sure your kids are hydrating 2-3 days prior to the games.
- I would have a NO soft drinks rule, up to you! Get the kids to make their own, water, some cordial and a pinch of salt.
- Between games kids should be hydrating and resting not playing too much as they might waste that energy.
- No big greasy meals between games…you will have issues. Tell the parents to have the kids eat a lite meal.
- Decide what you want to accomplish and teach in the tournament?
- An example might be working on shape or possession.
- Coaching in a pre season tournament the coach might work on a particular aspect of the game.
- Coaching in a post season tournament might just be having fun and competing.
Coaching tip: Just a suggestion but loan players should never start! This will only infuriate your team and parents.
The team advances
Prepare the team…
- Hydrate. https://www.thecoachdiary.com/is-chocolate-milk-good-for-you/
- Eat the proper foods.
- Make sure the players have a very good warm up the next day because they will be tight and sore.
- Make sure the parents get to bed early as the kids will follow.
- See also https://www.thecoachdiary.com/are-sports-drinks-overhyped-overrated-and-unhealthy-for-kids-today/
Coaching tip: If the players and parents follow these guidelines they will be better prepared.
The players and coaches will get the following benefits…
- Coach can spend lots of time with the team. Amazing what 2-3 games in a day will do for your team.
- Keep it very positive no matter what the results, but if you have placed the kids in the right tournament and appropriate level it should be no problem.
- Team building exercises.
- Extra skill sessions during the warm up.
- Helping individual players improve their game.
- Helps with a players confidence.
When the team makes the next round of a tournament, that is fantastic, you get to coach 2-3 more games. There is nothing like coaching a team and making a semi final or final. It makes the team more united and tougher. When the team does not advance the coach can still point out what the team has learned from playing games together over the weekend.
Good Luck and remember “let the kids play”