by Jeff Spencer July 19, 2016 0 Comments

I was with my family recently in Boise, Idaho for my daughter’s soccer team competition in the regional national championship soccer tournament.

The competition was 7-days long starting with preliminary games on day one and finishing with the championship game on day seven.

The challenge with these longer tournaments is that when you lose you go home.

So, you have to prepare to stay for the whole length of the tournament as you may be in the championship game on the last day but also must know you may be going home at the end of day one.

That’s tough on the mind as creates a lot of schedule disruption that can adversely affect performance outcomes from a battle-fatigued mind.

The biggest culprit that dulls the mind is a hyper-vigilance attempting to be ready for everything. Trying to cover all the bases on everything only creates a scrambled mind.

Here are a few key strategies to control the variables associated with longer events so you can put in your top performance:

  1. Know the competition schedule in advance to eliminate energy draining preventable surprises.
  2. During the down times between scheduled activities don’t let boredom or doing what others are doing tempt you to “do more” to get “extra ready” to “super perform” as such detours can kill your performance from over-preparation.
  3. Always have food and water with you so you’re ready for unanticipated schedule changes as are inevitable at larger, longer events, especially, if they’re staffed by volunteers.
  4. Give yourself extra time for travel to and from venue sites as there’s never as much time as you think there is.
  5. Keep your normal sleep, eating and training schedule. Altering your normal patterns for a few days confuses your biology that deadens your performance.

When these simple measures are implemented you’ll have more composure, adapt better to circumstance and, best of all, perform at your best.

My daughter’s team got to the quarterfinals on day 5 and, unfortunately, they lost.

So, we initiated our contingency plan we brought to the tournament, got home that night, and slept like babies because we were ready for pivot when it arose.

Jeff Spencer
Jeff Spencer



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