Preparing for Tournament Play: Accommodation
Accommodation for a many teams plays a part in their success at a tournament. While this is obviously a small part in some ways, it can also make the experience of an event all the more enjoyable. Taking the time to make sure the activity of finding the right accommodation is performed correctly, can save a lot of time and effort in the end. With this in mind, the importance of selecting the right accommodation for the team and its needs, far exceeds the responsibility of any one person. Instead this should be a group activity for a team’s entire staff to ensure as many of the issues or challenges can be identified early and solution proposed for the best results of the team.
Needs and Wants
The first strategy to help with the selection of accommodation will be to divide all the wish list items wanted into two categories titled Needs and Wants. Thinking about what the team can simply not do without versus items you can be flexible around can mean significant differences. For example, a high on the list of needs for a team will be providing a bed for each player and staff member of the team. It is best practice for staff members to not be staying in the same room as players. This maybe even be an organisational requirement and have legislative ramifications in some countries.
Location, Location, Location
Having the accommodation within a manageable distance to the venue will be of great assistance to a team’s preparations. The only exception to this is in professional leagues where media and public scrutiny may place too many demands on players or the team in general.
In many situations for junior teams, however have players close to the venue maybe helpful for transportation and time management during the tournament. Being even within walking distance to the game or training venue can be a valuable aspect for a team in helping their preparations and in some cases reducing the financial costs to players and their families.
The different amenities available throughout each possible accommodation option will be very important in choosing the right venue. Sometimes choices will need to be made between accommodation options will be based as much on cost as the types of features which are available. In these instances, having a needs and wants list as well as these prioritised will be of help.
It is worth noting that while many accommodation options are provided these might not always be in the most suitable condition for what is required of the team. For example, sometimes swimming pools are just plunge or lap pools. No matter the information presented on an accommodations website confirmation should be sort and verified.
Group Rooms Together
A suggested strategy is to have the teams multiple rooms grouped together. This will allow for easier monitoring and communication between all of the teams members. For junior teams this will of course be a higher priority than senior teams who will be treated as a responsible adults.
In some instances such as staying at caravan parks or elsewhere grouping rooms might also be useful in having areas of the accommodation only inhabited by the team. In effect isolating the group from other accommodation guests and allowing somewhat exclusive use of facilities like BBQ areas.
Confirm the Booking, Again, and Again
The final piece of advice for planning and managing accommodation for an event like a tournament is to ensure the booking is confirmed. This may seem like an overly obvious strategy, but this needs to be something undertaken with great importance. There is a very long list of examples where teams have arrived at a venue only to find that rooms have not been booked or some detail has not been planned.
Accommodation is a very important aspect of team preparation for a tournament. It has the tendency to make things easier or very much harder if not planned for. This lack of planning can make small issues into big problems with very little chance of a resolution. Planning is always the best option and leaves nothing to chance.