Tips for the Traveling Laxer

Summer is finally here, and with it comes recruiting season.  You travel all over the place to attend various tournaments and showcases, hoping to catch the eye of a coach.  As you get more serious about your recruiting process, you undoubtedly also make college visits to check out schools that interest you and sit down with coaches face to face.

For those of you that intend to fly to your destination, you know it can be pretty difficult for a lacrosse player to make the trip.  Here are a few tips that can make that flight easier and allow you to be your best when you reach the gate.

1. Hydrate. Tournaments and camps are jam-packed with back-to-back sessions of skill training and games over multiple days.  To be your best and get that coach’s attention, you have to stay hydrated.  It’s important to hydrate before, during, and after travel, and not just while you’re lacing up for Game 1.

It’s easy to get dehydrated while flying at altitude, but security will make you dump out that water bottle before you pass through.  Instead, bring a large, empty bottle to fill up in the terminal afterwards.  Nobody likes those tiny plastic cups of water from the refreshment cart on the plane, or even worse, as I’ve once received, water in a CAN. And remember: keep filling your bottle throughout the day to ensure maximum hydration.

2. Pack the important stuff in your carry-on. My worst fear is losing my checked bag while flying.  It happens way too often.  If that were to happen to me, I definitely wouldn’t be able to focus on my day ahead and keep my head in the game.  I avoid the extra stress by packing the necessities in my carry-on.  Packing healthy snacks for the day is a must; apples, almonds, carrots, and granola bars are all good options.  They’re also great to have around when you’re hit with the occasional unexpected delay.  Having snacks on hand will help minimize your travel fatigue.

Another tip: If you’ve got a back-up stick, pack at least one stick head in your carry-on.  You can tweak it or string it on the flight as opposed to fumbling with it on the 10-minute car ride to the tourney.

3. Bring a foam roller. This is an absolute necessity for your laxventures.  Having a travel-size foam roaller on hand is extremely beneficial for not just your game days, but your travel days as well.  Long flights decrease your circulation and impede nutrients to your muscle tissue.  Foam rolling is a great way to loosen up your muscles and improve blood circulation.

Do this during a layover or while waiting at the airport gate (not as weird as you think it will look, and your body will thank you for it).  This can help alleviate the stiffness you’d typically feel after a long day of travel.  Don’t just do it before your camp or a big game!  It’s super important to do it after you put down your stick and head home as well.  It’ll help speed up the recovery process and help you get ready for your next big event.

 

Prepare as much for your travel days as you would with any other form of training.  Following these tips will minimize your stress, maximize your comfort, and allow you to bring your best self to your summer tournaments and camps.  Good luck and happy flying!

What are some of your signature tips for travel days? Click the title to comment.

From humble beginnings in upstate New York, Nicole spent her childhood in her driveway with a stick in hand learning how to catch and throw a lacrosse ball. Her hard work and love for the game landed her at Hamilton College where she currently plays for a nationally ranked Division III Women’s Lacrosse program, coached by Patty Kloidt. Nicole hopes to instill her lax-addiction in young athletes and inspire them to pursue their dream of playing college lacrosse.

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