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Dorchester United Soccer Club

Dorchester United Soccer Club

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May, 2021

Preparing to Play Your best!

We have 5 teams competing this weekend. Our U17 Boys are traveling to Raleigh this weekend and our U10 Girls, U10 Boys, U15 Girls, and U15 Boys teams will be traveling to Cummings, Georgia. The weather forecast is for 90+ degrees both days with lots of sunshine. While that sounds like a perfect beach day, it is challenging when you need to play 4 soccer games in 30 hours.

Even the best athletes in the world must prepare physically and mentally to compete at a high level and we should follow their example if we want to play up to our potential. Here are some tips for getting our players ready, and you should start now:

Guidelines for a Successful Soccer Tournament
Tournaments offer a tremendous learning experience for all Players. The physical demands and intensity
level heighten everyoneʼs [Parents, Players, & Coaches] emotions. In order to prepare yourself properly, give
your team is best chance for success and gain the most from the experience – there are many factors that
need to be addressed.

Player Preparation:
The most difficult requirement for players will be the amount of energy expended over the 2-3 days. Players
must rest, eat well, and drink properly the week before a Tournament. Stick to a schedule and get 8-10 hours
of sleep. Travel, excitement, fatigue, risk of injury, noise, and new surroundings can upset your sleep patterns
at Tournaments. Give yourself some extra time to settle down before you go to bed. Rest or nap between
games if at all possible.

The energy that your body is able to expend depends on two main factors. The strength [endurance] of your
engine and the type of fuel [food – proper nutrition] you are using. Endurance and a good overall fitness level
are paramount to your soccer success. They are developed through the long term, working hard at training,
and getting the proper rest before and at the Tournament. The Hotel is your home for the Weekend, please
be respectful and understand others are staying there for a variety of reasons. Please get to bed early, force
yourself to rest between games and be quiet and respectful of other guests and Hotel Employees.
Proper nutrition is critical to your success. The week before the Tournament is the most important for
preparing your body. Eat three healthy meals and several snacks per day leading up to the Tournament.
Food that is high in complex carbohydrates and low in saturated fats are best. Fruits, vegetables, salads,
pastas, whole grain cereals and breads are best. At the Tournament, the foods that you eat will be processed
quickly enough to be a significant benefit for your energy level. Eat light and give your body plenty of time to
digest the food prior to the game.

Water is simply the most important thing you can put into your body before and during the Tournament. You
will sweat a lot and for long periods of time at the Tournament. Muscle cramps, dizziness, fatigue and heat
illnesses are all symptoms caused by a lack of water in your system. Begin to drink lots of water several days
before the Tournament. Do not drink carbonated soda, condensed juices or drinks that have caffeine. All of
these will actually cause the body to end up with less water in your system then before you drank it. Gatorade
and cold water work the best.

Swimming pools, spas and steam baths are very nice at the Hotel. All will sap you of your energy so be
cautious. Limit your time in a cold-water pool and do not go into the spa, Jacuzzi or sauna unless your Coach,
your Trainer, or your Doctor has recommended it. Heat is used to limber up your muscles that are sore or stiff
however, it will drain you of your energy. If you are injured during the Tournament, apply ice to the injured are
for a maximum of 20 minutes per time, then use the ice/heat rotation until the injury goes away.

Game Day Nutrition:
It is critically important that all players maintain proper hydration during a game, especially during the
Tournament. Players unable to maintain hydration makes it likely that they will go into the second match of
the Tournament under hydrated. Players make certain that you drink some on the way to the field, often
during warm ups. During the course of the game, drink every time you come off the field and obviously at half
time. The critical thing here is what happens immediately following the game. Rehydration is key, rest, and
proper nutrition.

To keep it simple, at the conclusion of the game and on the way to lunch you should have 12 oz. of a Sports
Drink [no soda whatsoever] and eat a piece of fruit [apple/banana] or graham crackers or a dry bagel.
Hydration is pretty critical, if you have gotten back on the field of play and did not have to use the bathroom at
all you are not properly hydrated. Sports Drinks provide your body with replenishing Electrolytes and
Carbohydrates within 30 minutes after the last whistle in the game and you need again to rehydrate.
Using sports drink is a very efficient way of getting in both fluid and carbohydrates. So, if you drink a 12 oz. of
sports drink right after the final whistle, youʼve started to hydrate while also taking in 21 g of your required 50g
of carbohydrates. If you add an apple/banana/4-5 graham crackers/bagel/ youʼre set and are on your way to

At lunch, you must pay close attention to what you are eating and oddly enough – continue to drink [non
carbonated and NO CAFFEINE]. The goal is to keep eating Carbohydrates, but it is critical to be low in fat. A
good choice is pretzels or some other complex carbohydrate.

Proper dress is also very important to your success during the Tournament. Tournament weather can very
drastically. The biggest problem can occur from heat and sunburn. Use, a long lasting, high SPF sport or
water sun block applied and reapplied regularly over all the expressed skin surfaces. Try to avoid the direct
sun whenever possible and cover any skin not regularly exposed t the sun [feet, shins, body surface under
shirts etc.]. Do not EVER walk around barefoot. Glass, bottle caps, splinters, rocks, stubbed toes, athleteʼs
foot blisters or cuts can all very quickly bring your participation to an end.

While this document preaches about responsibility, the preparedness of your child for the weekend will
undoubtedly require you to step in and provide direction. Be sure to check their equipment prior to leaving for
the tournament as lost uniforms and brining 1 shoe or 1 shin-guard can and have happened. Do not attempt
to wear new shoes for a tournament, as it could be a most painful experience.

Specific Parental Responsibilities:
• Let the Coach know ASAP regarding your availability to participate.
• If you have committed help your Coach and PA find a suitable replacement. The team certainly
depends on all of its members going to make the experience enjoyable.
• Pack your uniform including cleats, shin guards, extra laces, extra pairs of socks, soccer ball, water bottle.
• Get all of the required paperwork to managers ASAP when requested.
• Ensure that your child follows the conduct guidelines at the Hotel and Tournament.
• Act respectfully toward any and all Parents, Players, Coaches, Managers, Teams, Referees, and
Tournament Officials you come in contact with.
• Be sure you have all of the schedules, field maps, and be prepared for last minute changes for both.

Please remember we are a group and your behavior is a reflection of all of us. Enjoy the weekend and
be sure everyone enjoys your families and teams participation.

Let's play smart, play hard, and play UNITED!


Dorchester United Soccer Club
1727 Diving Duck Ln 
Summerville, South Carolina 29483

Phone: 843-864-5770
Email: [email protected]

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