Performance Tips

7 Keys for Successful Road Games for College Athletes

Posted on February 21, 2024

As a college athlete, away games can be tough. When you hit the road it's crucial to stay on top of your game, both physically and mentally. This means fueling your body right, managing stress, getting quality sleep, and keeping illnesses at bay. Here, I'm going to break down for you my seven essential tips that will keep you at the peak of your performance during travel.

  1. Hydration Is Your Secret Weapon You know hydration is key, but on the road, it’s easy to fall short. Aim to have a large glass of water at every meal and 16-20oz between meals. If you're a 180-pound athlete, that's 90 ounces of water. Toss in an extra 16-20 ounces for every hour of intense training or competition. Why? Dehydration can impair your performance, concentration, and reaction time – a no-go for any athlete.
  1. Carbohydrates Are Your Fuel Carbs are not the enemy but on the road it can be tricky to get the right carbs to fuel your success. Ultra-processed and refined carbs (snack foods, cakes, cookies, muffins, etc) are all to each to find and eat. Put in the extra work to opt for whole-grain options like oatmeal or whole-grain bread. These complex carbs not only provide the energy that your body needs but fiber, vitamins, minerals, and EVEN antioxidants so that your body can be at its best.
  1. Protein Packs a Punch You know that protein is essential for muscle repair and growth and you also know that getting quality protein while traveling can be difficult. But not all proteins are created equal. Lean meats, Greek yogurt, and eggs are great choices. A roast beef sandwich (extra vegetables) or a yogurt parfait can be both convenient and effective for recovery post-game.

  2. Snack Smart Don’t let hunger pangs derail you. Pack portable, nutritious snacks like beef jerky and fruits (oranges and apples travel well). These can help maintain your energy levels and fuel your body throughout your road trip.

  3. Sleep: Your Unsung Hero Never underestimate the power of sleep. It's when your body repairs itself. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep. Difficulty sleeping in a new place? Try a sleep mask, earplugs, or a white noise app. Your performance the next day depends on tonight's sleep.

  4. Stress Management Travel and competition can be stressful. Develop a pre-game routine to calm your nerves. It could be deep breathing, listening to music, or a short meditation session. Remember, a relaxed athlete is an effective athlete.
  5. Guard Against Illness Travel exposes you to new germs. Boost your immune system by including fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins C and E, like oranges and spinach. Don't forget to wash your hands regularly!

Remember, being on the road is no excuse to let your guard down. By staying hydrated, fueling right, and managing stress and sleep, you can ensure that your game remains strong, no matter where you are. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll not only play better but also enjoy the journey more. Remember, your best performance starts with taking care of yourself.