"Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do." - Sean Covey
With club sports, athletes of all ages are traveling more to compete. It’s important to create a travel routine to reduce stress and chaos, and to help stave off dehydration, exhaustion, and injury.
Highly motivated athletes develop routines to create consistency, to make things familiar, controllable, and comfortable. An athlete’s routine is personal and allows her/him to be optimally prepared each day.
Tips to create a travel routine:
a. To deal with jet lag, experts recommend that athletes adjust their sleep, meals, training, and practice schedules one hour a day till it matches the destination time zone.
b. It is ideal to arrive at your travel destination a few days ahead of time.
c. Get extra sleep for a few days leading up to your flight. Logging in that extra sleep will help you feel more rested and energized.
d. If you don’t have the luxury of arriving a few days early, stay close to your regular sleeping, eating, and training schedules.
e. Pack foods, snacks, and supplements. They may be challenging to find when traveling.
f. For better sleep on the plane, wear earplugs or noise canceling headphones. If you listen to music while you sleep, make sure it’s relaxing or ambient music.
g. Drink water and replenish electrolytes to reduce the effects of breathing recycled air. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
h. Walk around the cabin to stretch and increase blood flow to your legs. For the same reasons, low impact activity is also good when you arrive at your destination.
i. When you arrive, avoid long naps and try not to sleep till bedtime.
j. Create a resource guide that includes travel time from your hotel to the competition venue, to restaurants, grocery stores, and if you have time, entertainment.