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Tournament Guidelines for Success

Tournament play can take a major toll on an athlete’s body.  By utilizing the following guidelines for recovery between games, players will improve performance during these grueling tournaments.  It will also ensure that they are ready to compete at their very best.


Night before Game or Tournament

·          Concentrate on eating a balanced meal with lean protein, carbohydrates and unsaturated fats

·          Low fat, high carbohydrate foods like pasta, potatoes or rice (without cream sauces and butter)

·          Remember vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and squash are a great source of calcium and fiber

·          Continue to drink lots of fluids, especially water.  Your daily water intake should be 75% of your body weight in ounces.  For example, 100 lbs = 75 ounces of water or about 2.5 liters.

·          For a dessert or late night snack try fruit, Sherbert or yogurt

·          Get a good night sleep of 8 to 9 hours; rest is the key to recovery and optimal performance


Morning before games begin

·          If possible, eat breakfast 2-3 hours prior to competition

·          Eat light and low fat; avoid greasy foods such as hash browns and sausages

·          Try a bowl of cereal, bagel, fruit, fruit juice (1 cup is enough), yogurt, toast, waffles (pancakes can be too filling), and scrambled eggs

·          Continue to drink water.  Stay away from sodas and caffeine drinks.

·          Pack snacks with you, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, jerky, carrot sticks, water and sports drink to avoid eating junk food at the snack bar


Between games (short time; 1 to 4 hours)

·          Perform a light cool down following game. For example, a 5-10 minute light jog or walk, repeat a dynamic warm up (etc.), followed by a general static stretch

·          Continue to hydrate with water and Sports drink (ie. Gatorade); 8-16 ounces/hour is a good rule of thumb.  Muscle cramps is a sign of dehydration and low electrolyte balance.

·          Eat a light snack within 30-60 minutes of the end of the game. Examples are: a low fat sandwich, fruit, soup, energy/granola bar (not high in protein), yogurt or low fat muffin


Between games (long time; over 4 hours)

·          Perform a light cool down following game as described above

·          Continue to hydrate with water and Sports drink (ex. Gatorade); at least 24 ounces

·          Eat a normal size meal; high in carbohydrates, low in saturated fat and a smaller portion of protein than normal

·          Get some rest and stay cool out of the direct sun.   Take a short nap and elevate your legs up above your heart for 30 minutes to aid recovery.


Following last game of the day

·          Perform a light cool down following game as described above

·          Continue to hydrate with water and Sports drink (ie. Gatorade); at least 24 ounces to replace electrolytes

·          Eat a regular size meal high in carbohydrates and protein (to help muscles repair) and low in saturated fat.  Unsaturated fats such as nuts, avocado and olive oil are ok.

·          Remember the vegetables; eat your dark leafy greens and other colorful veggies.  Have a salad at the end dinner

·          Ice tub for 10 minutes. Fill the bathtub with a couple of bags of ice and fill with enough water to cover your legs

·          Get a good night’s sleep of  8 to 10 hours


Chris Phillips is a certified Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach and owner of Compete Sports Performance and Rehab Southern California. For more information and to reach us, please visit our website