When is the right time to tour?
This is a question I am asked quite a lot. So, when is the right time to tour? The honest answer is it’s always the right time to tour – you just need to understand what touring means.
Whether you are taking an U8 football team to Essex for a festival or your U18 1st rugby team on a pre-season tour to South Africa, touring is about so much more than sport.
Agreed, some tours are very serious, and they should be. You could be preparing your elite players for a successful season. You want the best out of them and a full-time training camp is the ideal way to facilitate this. You have more contact time with your team, time to work on structural changes, tactical understanding and ultimately improve the team’s fitness and cohesion.
For a lower standard team the initial reasoning for touring is very similar, your team will improve as they are practicing more frequently. They will gain a better understanding of each other and this will result in a stronger team. The structure of the tour may be slightly different, the intensity or number of sessions may not be as high, however by adding professional coaching sessions you may see more of a difference in your athletes. It is also widely understood that young sports players learn in different ways. Having a professional coach from the area you are touring in can add value to your team dynamic.
But let’s step away from the sports aspect of the tour.
What else do your young athletes get from a sports tour?
They experience another culture – We at Team Sports Travel are proud to always offer cultural excursions within our tours and encourage post-match functions with the opposition. It is important when travelling in another country to be educated in the native culture and always respectful of it. We believe this aspect of the tour can play a massive part in a student’s wellbeing, by understanding other countries traditions they are able to expand their mind and their thinking on many levels.
Spending time with team mates – As anyone who has grown up as part of a sports team you will know the close bond you develop with your team mates is like no other. They pick you up when you are struggling and celebrate with you in triumph, and you do the same for them without a second thought. Being part of a team means that you have a whole squad of similar minded people who work towards a common goal.
Spend time away from their family – This can be daunting for the younger students however, it helps pupils start to gain independence in a safe setting. They have to organise themselves each morning, make sure they have the correct kit and perhaps be in charge of their pocket money. They may also be traveling a far distance. This may be some of the students first time going to another country without their family. The sense of achievement they can get from being able to accomplish something like this is excellent for their development and maturity.
Making memories – a tour can be the highlight of a student’s school sports experience and one that they will look back on fondly. Sports tours can open a student’s eyes to not only the rest of the world but to who they are and how they fit into a team.
This is why any time of year is the right time to tour!