This month sees many of our teams crisscrossing Florida for Commissioners Cup, President’s Cup, and State Cup. Journeys can often be long, the mercury is on the rise, and referees sometimes don’t understand the offside rule. So we thought we would provide some survival tips for the coming weeks.
For all tournaments, planning is key. Make sure you know where you are going, how long it will take to get there, whether there are adequate amounts of drive-thru coffee outlets along your route, and that both home and away jerseys are packed along with cleats, shin-guards and our blue warm up shirts.
FCS TIP: Budget 10-20 minutes extra just for the time it can take to park at tournament locations.
Often players will be expected to play between 3-5 games over any given tournament weekend which is physically and mentally demanding. They will require rest and sensible nutrition options to ensure recovery. Most importantly they will need to stay hydrated. Lots of water and limiting time spent in the pool all will aid rehydration.
FCS TIP: Eat no later than two hours after a match, ideally within 30 minutes.
While playing so much soccer requires a great deal of effort, watching and supporting the teams play so many games in a tournament setting can be very stressful. Parents should be aware that although the technology is there, VAR will not be making an appearance at any of our tournaments this season and so officials will make the odd mistake, or make odd mistakes. We all appreciate how frustrating this can be but we must remember that there is no grand conspiracy, mistakes are part of the game and something that must be accepted and not chased the length of the field in order to contest the direction of a throw-in call.
FCS TIP: Repeated yelling at a ref from the sideline can cause your team's coach to be ejected from the field, as the coach is responsible for sideline behavior.
Finally, please remind the players and each other that we all are representatives of our club and our local area. We should behave with dignity, class, and honor, and play with heart, brains, and an appreciation of what makes this game, soccer, the beautiful one.