Touring and being in camp with a team or as part of a tournament is an exhilarating time and the first week or two can be exciting and novel but at some stage, if it is long enough, “cabin fever” can set in and untreated can create performance distractors.
Having some creative and relaxing solutions can help turn a potential distraction to performance into an opportunity to enhance performance. So here are some ideas to ensure you don’t suffer from “cabin fever” on your next tour.
1 Stock of movies
Keep a hard drive handy with your favourite movies; you can’t always rely on local TV, especially overseas.
2 Family photos
Have some photos of your loved ones with you because you need to know that those who love you are with you in spirit. By surrounding yourself with images of positivity you will have reminders of who you are achieving for. They may at times create feelings of homesickness but the positives of having those photos far outweigh the negatives.
3 Find out if you can access free wi-fi
Being able to FaceTime or Skype your loved ones helps keep your love tank full and as such will definitely aid performance. Minimising or eliminating homesickness can mean the difference between a top shelf performance and an emotional disaster.
4 Make time to enjoy the local attractions
In particular overseas, find time to explore and experience local attractions. Not only do you stimulate your experience but you also get the downtime you need from your performance. Finding suitable downtime is essential to ensure high performance and if it can involve learning or experiencing new things then that is a bonus.
5 Be a disciplined eater
Don’t let the buffet take over your life. It can become an existence of eat, sleep, train and compete and because many situations involve hotel buffets your normal eating habits can go out the window. Be disciplined with your eating habits and control the amount you intake. Having dessert twice a day when at home you rarely have dessert can be a recipe for unwanted and unnecessary kilograms.
6 Get Outside
It’s called “cabin fever” for a reason. Do your best to get plenty of fresh air everyday. Sitting or lying in a confined space like a hotel room is a sure way of experiencing that couped-up feeling. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining or cold, get out in the elements and make yourself feel alive.
7 Have fun with Hotel staff
These people can be of great assistance especially if you need something out of the ordinary. Befriend them and have a good chat; they tend to be great sources of information for great places to go but they can also make living in a hotel some fun. They work in hospitality generally because they are good with people so open yourself up to them and they will more often than not give more than you expected.
If you can get your surroundings right and feel comfortable in the environment you're in you will more than likely feel good about performing, and when fractions of seconds or inches mean the difference between success and failure, it’s not such a bad thing to think about.