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.