So it’s your first 7 on 7? You’ve heard all about it but not quite sure what to expect. 7 on 7 tournaments are (as you can guess) 7 players lining up against an opposing 7 players—a straight-up offense vs. defense battle with no pads. Before getting into the tournament details, it is essential first to understand what the day consists of.
The most vital thing you can do to prepare for 7 on 7 tournaments is well-rested and hydrated. These events often start between 7 am-9 am and can last all day depending on how well your team performs. The majority of the schools that attend have to travel, so players have to be prepared to play and for a long day of travel. Most events will provide food/drinks for players and coaches, but players should also pack a bag with water, bananas, or small snacks.
Players should also include any accessories or equipment they need in their packed bag. This may consist of sleeves, headbands, tape, an extra pair of clothes, and an extra pair of cleats if available. Since there are no pads, clothing can get ripped easier from opponents trying to make touch tackles.
NOW TO THE FUN STUFF
If it is your first 7 on 7 tournament, you will realize that the game is played a lot faster. The most important thing a player can do to prepare for gameplay is be conditioned. Offenses and defenses swap out much more consistently, and before you know it, you’re right back on the field. Second, players must know the playbook. QB’s generally only have 4 seconds to throw the ball, so receivers have to know their exact route every play. There won’t be much time for improvising routes. On the other hand, no linemen are rushing the QB, so defensive players need to be on their toes. QB’s can survey the field without having to worry about pressure, so explosive plays can happen in an instant if DB’s are not ready. This goes back to conditioning. Many teams will try the deep ball on the first play, and if it results in a touchdown, you’re right back on the field.
Stretching and staying warm are also significant factors in staying prepared. Each team is usually guaranteed 3 games minimum, but if your team keeps winning, you’re in for a full-day event. This can be draining because players are used to playing 3 hours max in a regular football game. During breaks, it is recommended to stay hydrated, loose, and fully stretched.
HAVE FUN WITH IT
7 on 7 tournaments are meant to be an eventful and exciting experience. Players can chat with opposing teams more and build connections that typically can’t happen in regular-season games. Many different schools are there, so different talent levels can be recognized. There may often be pro or college players that high school athletes can learn from & lastly, many coaches and recruiters may be there to offer you an opportunity you’ve been dreaming of.