Keeping your club volleyball player full of good food to keep her (or him) fueled for an entire day or weekend of games is really tough! If you are a mom like me, I would LOVE to just bring GOOD for you food, but I know that doesn’t always make the most sense. I am going to give you some of my, and our teams, best ideas for food and keeping your athlete fueled for a looooong day of playing! Here are tips and tricks for Club Volleyball Tournament Food!
Tournament Food Options
There are many ways to plan the food for a club volleyball tournament. Some of the options are:
1. Plan food as if you are just an individual (not team food)
2. Plan food as a team
3. Use a hybrid approach – and plan some food as a team and some as an individual
Here are the thoughts behind each food plan
1. As an individual – bring the food that your athlete (and spectators) will eat. This is a good option if you have an incredibly picky player. You can be sure that everything you bring will be liked and eaten by your athlete because, well, you you packed it! So you plan accordingly!
2. Plan food as a team. This is how we normally plan food for our teams. We have done this in a few different ways. One way is to have each family chip in a set amount of money per tournament or per season and the team Mom is responsible for planning what will be eaten at each tournament. In some cases, our team Moms have simply purchased snacks and waters and then supplemented with hot food for lunch – like Chick-fil-A or Subway- depending on what is close to our tournament location. Other times the team Mom has simply purchased snacks, waters, and brought lunch type foods that the athletes can build their own lunches with – lunch meats, veggies, etc.
The other way to do this is to have each family ‘sign-up’ to bring food. You’ll want to make sure that there are categories for families to sign -up for so that you don’t get a ton of fruit and nothing else! You can have each family bring the same category of food for the whole season. Or change it up for every tournament – making sure all categories are covered. Some categories include: protein, veggies, fruits, waters, snacks, etc.
3. Using the hybrid approach can be helpful for new teams since you don’t know each other very well. You could plan for everyone to bring their own snacks and waters but plan to have group food for lunch. You can use the same sign-up as discussed above, to ensure a good sampling of food types. Sandwiches are easy to bring to tournaments, as are chips, fruits, crackers, cheese sticks, granola bars, veggie sticks, protein balls, and so on! Once you get to know your team, you also learn their eating habits and can move to the team approach down the road!
Tournament Food Tips
The key to remember is that you never know how much time you will have to eat! So planning foods that can be eaten in between games to keep up the blood sugar level is a good idea! Baggies full of goodies that can be grabbed and taken to the team meeting is helpful. Pay attention to the tournament location rules! Some places allow crock-pots (or electric appliances) while others have a strict rule against them. You may also want to make sure you have a good cooler!
As a travelling team, when we stay in a hotel, we always try to find one that serves free breakfast. Also, make a note of the time they start serving breakfast! We usually have to report to the tournament location by 7am, and some hotels don’t begin serving their breakfast until 7am! That doesn’t work for us! We also always try to find a hotel with refrigerators in the rooms. This is great because we bring so much food with us – it is great to have it cooled in the fridge all night, so it is good and cold by morning! Pack some fresh ice in your cooler after breakfast and you are good to go!
Check out my other blog posts like Travelling to Club Volleyball Tournaments and Club Volleyball Friend or Foe? Also, here are a couple of great recipes for snacks to take with you: High Energy Protein Balls and Homemade Chewy Granola Bars! Happy Volleyballing!