So let me guess -- you're in the thick of it right now, and lacrosse has taken over your life. I know this because every couple days through my Timehop app or Facebook's 'On this day' my statuses from 7-9 years ago are something about going to a lacrosse tournament. I know it can be all-consuming, with recruiting, the killer heat, and lack of goalie coaches to go around. Here are some tips that I used to get through it, and some that I've learned along the way.
- HYDRATE. I did not take heed to this one at all when I was playing club, but with all the pads you lose a TON of water. I found this out when our Stanford team went to play Florida my freshman year, and the goalies were required to drink as much as the midfielders before our trip. Which brings up another key point, you have to start hydrating 2-3 days before the tournament, so your body is ready to go. Keep your water bottle behind the cage when you're playing, it's a lifesaver!
- KEEP COOL - The temps are HOT, especially come July (right around the corner!). Always keep a wet rag in a cooler to put on the back of your neck after games (Thanks, mom!). I also always used to freeze a ton of water bottles before the tournament and leave those in the cooler, so I always had cold water. Investing in a water bottle like s'well (there's a ton of other brands out there, that's just the one I know), it seriously keeps water cold forever!!
- Find a good teammate to warm you up - There are never enough goalie coaches out there to make it to every game. It's up to you to make sure you're properly warmed up and ready to play. Figure out how you like to be warmed up, and tell your teammate what she needs to do. If you need some warm up ideas, check out my blog on what a proper warm up should look like.
- If you're a recruiting year, never look at the sidelines - All you should be focusing on is the ball. I know it can be VERY tempting to see who is watching, but it's more important to concentrate on the game in front of you. If you do happen to look over and start getting nervous, just close your eyes, take a deep, long breath and refocus on the ball.
- SLEEP! I know it's tempting to stay up hanging out with your teammates, but most likely you have early games lasting all day. You need to get your sleep to prepare your body for the day ahead. Sleep is crucial for reaction time, so have to prioritize this!
Hope this helps during your upcoming tournaments - best of luck! :)