Traveling for an overnight tournament can be a lot of fun for a youth sports team. They get to spend a whole weekend playing the sport they love, bonding with their teammates, sleeping in a hotel (almost like it’s a vacation!) and more. But for a coach, traveling with a youth sports team can become a logistical nightmare if you don’t plan ahead. Simply keeping tabs on a dozen or so youth athletes is no easy feat, so here are three tips for traveling with a youth sports team to make everything else a little easier.
Stock up on snacks from the grocery store.
It’s important that you keep your team full and fueled during a weekend tournament, but a tight schedule might not give your players enough time to grab lunch every day. You don’t want to weigh your youth athletes down with greasy fast food or have to worry about them crashing later after snacking on candy all day, so stock up on snacks from the local grocery store. Grab things like bags of baby carrots, apples, nuts, cheese snacks, crackers and other healthy snacks they can munch on in between games. Having these snacks on hand is also useful if your team has an early morning game and doesn’t have time to eat a full breakfast. They are also great to keep in the hotel rooms during an overnight stay in place of potato chips and other unhealthy snacks.
Pack a “must have” kit.
Traveling overnight means sports parents can’t run home if their youth athlete forgot something. Coaches can create a “must have” travel kit full of things their team might need (and might forget to bring) like extra socks (important if you’re playing in wet weather!), hair ties, water bottles, sunscreen, bug spray and so forth. Those little items may not seem like much, but they can make a world of difference for one of your players! Plus is makes it easier on travelling sports parents since they have less to worry about. Your travel kit can supply the whole team.
Establish a hotel code-of-conduct.
It’s exciting to travel to an overnight tournament and stay at a hotel, but you have to make sure that your team understands what is expected of them while at the hotel. Lay down some ground rules for what time it’s lights out, if they are allowed to use the pool or not, if they are allowed to swap rooms and so forth. By establishing a code of conduct upfront you can make sure your youth athletes are accountable for their actions.