How To Reduce Stress When Planning A Tournament

Running any event can be stressful, but running a city wide tournament, with multiple locations, more than a hundred teams, and the pressure of helping a city’s economy can lead an event planner to more than the usual hair pulling. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you are planning your first tournament or your 15th, there are ways to reduce your stress while preparing for your big event.

Learn From Others’ Mistakes

One of the best ways to reduce your stress when planning a tournament is to learn from others’ mistakes. We encourage you to speak to other tournament producers across the country, both in your sport and in others. Learn what worked for them and what didn’t. Often times you will learn as much from their mistakes as from their successes. Why make the same mistakes they did. Taking the time to interview other tournament producers just might save you dozens of your own mistakes.


Whenever possible automate the process. Find software programs that can help you with registration as well as your task management and CRM. Finding the right software can be harder than it sounds though. Look for software that not only makes it easy for your teams to register but also sends automated updates about your progress and what the teams can expect next. This is a great question to ask when you are learning from others’ mistakes. Learning what software they chose can prevent you from having to restart a new software program next year and the year after. We have spoken with organizers who went through three different renditions before they finally landed on the solution that worked for them.

Work With An Experienced Housing Company

Working with an experienced housing company is the first step in delegating. You don’t have to take on every detail of the tournament planning yourself. Finding an experienced company that works with the biggest tournaments across the United States means you can let go of one major headache and know that your teams will be taken care of. In a previous article we spoke about keeping your sponsors happy. It’s equally important that you keep your teams happy. One of the best ways to do that is to ensure their housing process is seamless.


Create a true tournament planning team. Use your team to their fullest potential. Learn what their strengths are and assign roles accordingly. But keep in mind, delegation is your job. That means assigning the job and then stepping back and letting go of that stress. Don’t micromanage your team. It’s not good for them but it is not good for your either. You are leading the process for a reason. You have a penchant for planning and getting things done. But that also means accepting help is hard for you. Keep in mind that accepting help when you are feeling overwhelmed is as good for your event as it is for you.

Be Honest

Planning a tournament can seem like a three ring circus, especially as you come up on the end. Be honest with your team and with yourself. How are you handling the stress? If you are really feeling overwhelmed, add people to your team, take a couple of days away from the planning, or even plan your team meetings as a walk. Walking and talking is a great way to reduce stress and let go of worries and you might be surprised how much more freely people will speak when they are walking.

Being honest about how you are feeling and how you are handling the stress is a great first step in letting go of the anxiety that can cause you to snap at a co-planner, or throw up your hands and quit.

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