Advice for sport tournaments

There are a few big school sports tournaments coming up. Winter Tournament week for the High School teams this week and then AIMS Games for the Intermediate students the following week. This is a lot of exercise for school students in a small amount of time.  We need to make sure our kids are fuelled properly to allow them to recover well and then perform at their best with multiple games a day on back-to-back days.

Here are some tips to help keep your energy levels up and prevent or manage any injuries!


Avoiding injury


  • It’s so important for the muscles to recover from the day’s games so they’re ready to perform again the next day
    • Get 9-11 hours every night
    • In the hour before bed:
      • only relaxing activity like reading, no screens
      • reduce the amount of light that is on
      • no food

Eat well

  • Breakfast – some carbohydrate – g. weetbix, eggs on toast, banana smoothies
  • Snacks – high energy – bananas, up and go, museli bar, wraps
  • Eat soon after your game – high protein, some carb
  • Dinner – anything you’d normally have making sure you do not try anything new during the tournament
  • Drink water often throughout the day

Warm up

  • These are specifically designed to prepare your body for the game – DO YOUR WARM UP!!
  • The best ones are more dynamic where the body is increasing in heat and the muscles and tendons are preparing to accept more load

Massage ball / foam roller / stretching

  • Can definitely be helpful for tight muscles – if you have past injuries or muscles that you know get tight, releasing these muscles regularly, before you notice them getting tight, can help prevent injury
  • Do throughout the day, as well as in the evening


Managing injuries

Before tournament week or AIMS

  • Multiple days in a row of games of the same sport is repetitive on the body, any existing issues are very likely to be a problem
  • See your Physio ASAP

During tournament week or AIMS

  • It’s normally best to stop playing straight away – if you don’t make it worse, you’re more likely to be able to play games in the next few days
  • Even if it seems minor, ask a Physio for advice. Often getting a good diagnosis means you have a good idea what is going on and then you can make some good decisions moving foward
  • Avoid heat and anti-inflammatories in the first 48 hours
    • If needed, use paracetamol
    • Ice can help for pain relief (but not for muscle injuries!)