On the Road: Organizing, Planning and Preparing Key to Road Success

All the Challenges of Traveling Can Put Extreme Stress on Body

fitnessinsider_on the road

Photo Credit: 
Robert Mora / LA Galaxy

Welcome to the Galaxy Fitness Insider. This weekly feature will be written by Galaxy Strength & Conditioning Coach Ben Yauss and will look at how he interacts with the Galaxy players and applies performance training to maximize the players' physical development. Each week, Ben will focus on a different piece of the Galaxy players' overall training plan and use current examples of how these training techniques are being used by the players. Fans are encouraged to participate by leaving questions for Ben either in the chat box or at the bottom of each weekly article, which he will aim to incorporate into future posts. Please be advised that the information in the Galaxy Fitness Insider is for informational purposes only and not intended for use by all audiences.

Traveling for any competition poses a great challenge.  A lot of work goes into organizing, planning, and preparing for the road trip all while still trying to prepare the team to compete and be successful on the field.  This week, as the Galaxy are in the middle of their longest road trip of the season, we'll look at what can be done to prepare athletes for the challenges and stress of travel.

WATCH: FOX Sports West Road Trip Feature

When preparing for a road trip we have to look at everything from total distance traveled, days between games, meal planning, and sleep accommodations and then plan the appropriate training, recovery, and rest days accordingly.   All of these challenges can put an extremely high amount of stress and toll on our bodies, but with proper planning and by following these seven tips that we incorporate with the Galaxy players, we can ease the stress we put the players through and give them the best chance to go out there and compete at the highest level possible.

1)     Hydrate

When travelling, especially if it involves flying it is important to keep your body well hydrated.  Start your day with at least two cups of water and try consuming at least 8 ounces of water every hour.

2)    Prepare for flight/car/bus

When travelling you are going to spend a lot of time sitting in the same position.  Be sure to stretch and perform rehab exercises such as some of the exercises we discussed last week prior to the start of your trip to help with your posture.

WATCH: Todd Dunivant performs simple stretches to loosen up from long road trips

3)    Move around the cabin

Try not to stay in the same position for more then two hours.  Get up, pull the car or bus over and stretch you hip flexors, hamstrings and back.

4)    Schedule your day and meals

Set an itinerary for your trip with meal, training, and recovery times so that you can optimize your time and so that everyone knows the plan and what is expected of them.  This will limit any confusion and allow the players to get into a good mindset knowing when they need to be somewhere and what they will be doing.

5)    Use your body weight

When on the road you don’t want to neglect your workout sessions.  Even though we don’t have access to our normal gym we can still utilize our time to maintain our strength and fitness.  Build strength with body weight squats, push ups, and bridges and seek out what fitness room accommodations the hotel has on site or access to.

WATCH: Todd Dunivant performs miniband and other exercises you can use on the road

6)    Pack light

Just because we can’t bring the gym with us doesn’t mean we can’t bring a little bit of the gym to our players.  Pack a miniband, foam roll, TRX, and speed ladder and you will be able to add some variety to your training sessions to keep your body strong without taking up a ton of space in your suitcase.

7)    Recover, Recover…Recover

Soccer is a demanding sport and it is very important to take care of our bodies in between matches on the road so that we are able to play again with a short turn around.  Use the time in between games or flights with a foam roll and stretch rope to keep your muscles from tightening up and aide in your recovery.

Being on the road is never easy.  We have to be able to adapt and adjust to the obstacles and challenges that traveling presents to our team and players.  If you follow these seven tips that we use with the Galaxy, it should help you to prepare for life on the road and allow for a successful trip and positive results on the pitch.

Follow all of Ben's Galaxy Fitness Insider updates at www.lagalaxy.com/fitnessinsider. Fans are encouraged to participate by leaving questions for Ben either in the chat box on the page or at the bottom of each article, which he will aim to incorporate into these weekly posts.