Off to Qatar!

Brian is going to the World Cup!

Hey there, it’s been a while since the last post – part of the changes in life that COVID brought.


What better time to come back than to blog my trip to Qatar for the 2022 Men’s World Cup!  I have been fortunate enough to say this will be my 4th World Cup.  The first 3 being:

What I loved about my previous trips is being around and meeting so many people from all over the world, coming together to have a good time and celebrate the world’s most popular sport at the highest level.  It was for this reason that I started saving up to go to Qatar 3 years ago.  

I will be meeting up with a couple friends in Manila, Philippines for a few days, before heading to Doha for 10 days.  This year’s event is unique in that all of the stadiums are within a 35 mile radius of Doha, and it’s just a 2 ½ hours drive from the northern-most to southern-most stadium, if you stopped at every station along the way!

With that being the case, I will be attending 10 games in that 10 day span:

Nov 21 – USA vs Wales

Nov 22 – Denmark vs Tunisia

Nov 23 – Japan vs Germany | Belgium vs Canada 

Nov 24 – Uruguay vs South Korea | Brazil vs Serbia

Nov 25 – England vs USA

Nov 26 – Day off

Nov 27 – Croatia vs Canada

Nov 28 – South Korea vs Ghana

Nov 29 – USA vs Iran


I will plan to write 2-3 blogs posts detailing my experiences, so stay tuned for those.

In them I would like to look at things from a sport psychology perspective.  One of the most important concepts is “Focus on the Controllables.”  For this World Cup, the
“out -of-controllables” list will be especially important:

  • This is the first “winter” world cup (it usually takes place in the summer)
  • The temperatures will be in the 90s for most games
  • The majority of pro leagues are in the middle of their season. Typically with a World Cup, the pro leagues are in their off-season
  • The above points have lead to some key injuries, and most likely will lead to some during the tournament
  • There is a lot of outside noise surrounding corruption and human rights abuses in the host country of Qatar
  • As always for World Cups, the teams do not have a very long time to practice together and to gel as a unit. Players are coming from different teams, different leagues, and to be on the same page in soccer is crucial

I will be thinking about these issues as the tournament kicks off, and will make sure to include my observations as the tournament kicks off.