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Tournament Preparation


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An interesting article by Hope Powell on the English men's team in South Africa with a good window into what goes on in terms of tournament preparation.


"Most people do not appreciate the work that goes into preparing for a tournament. You have to plan to be there for the whole period and that means visiting all the possible hotels and training venues you could be in, doing a complete recce of every site. It is essential to avoid surprises: you do not want to arrive and find out that the hotel kitchens are too small for the chef or that there are problems with medical facilities. I flew to China three times before the 2007 World Cup to make sure everything was as I wanted. I would have gone 10 times but for the distance.

Then there are the months of looking at detailed reports on each of your group opponents – their results, goalscorers, assists, crosses, likely line-ups, formations, video, stats, written reports. That information needs to be presented to the players visually before setting it out on a pitch in real play so they can get a feel for the way the opposition will play and, crucially, how to counter them.

You focus predominantly on the first game as once the tournament starts any information you already have on your next opponent is rendered in part obsolete as new stats and video come in and you have to keep abreast of it all. The pressures on a coach are constant. The days are long. Every bit of detail, analysis, review, feedback, preparation needs going through. The working hours are from seven in the morning until midnight, running on adrenaline and very little sleep. It is tough for a coach."

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