We've all experienced it. We're all bound to experience it again. The long bus ride. Yes, for we college athletes, this is all too common an experience, especially in D-III. Our conference opponents are simply too far away to make these trips tolerable, and any good competition seemingly must come from out of state. So what are we to do on these never-ending trips? Well, that's why I'm here. Here are the top 5 things to do on a bus ride, according to me.
1. Sleep- I know, right? Isn't sleep just the best thing to do ever? If you're one of those lucky people that can sleep anywhere (first of all, I hate you), take advantage of it. Pack a pillow or a blanket or just a big, comfortable jacket to lay on, and, well, do your thing. In my case, it takes some noise-canceling headphones and a little music, but once you find your comfort zone, you'll be doing great.
2. Get pumped- Now, this is one that may not be applicable for the entirety of your bus ride, but once you're getting close to your destination, getting mentally psyched for the game is a must. Coaches hate nothing more than a team that comes out flat after a long road trip. Listen to some music to get your blood flowing, either individually or as a team. Think positive thoughts about good games you've had in the past. Visualize your success this time around. Do whatever it takes to get in a good mindset before you take the field.
3. Watch a movie- If your team is taking a charter bus, or you're cool and have a DVD player or movies on your iPod, watching movies is a great way to pass the time on a bus trip. The hardest part is getting the whole team to agree to a movie. Once that's done, all you have to do is figure out how to get some popcorn.
4. Play games- This isn't one of my personal favorites, but I know it's a popular one. This is a great team-building activity and can be a good way to find out things about your teammates. Just remember the golden rule: what happens on the bus stays on the bus.
5. Stare out the window- Nothing makes a person feel deep and philosophical like watching the countryside fly by out the bus window. An activity that's less about seeing than about thinking, this might get boring for some. But for me, nothing's quite like the tranquil nature of...nature....
Have a great ride!