Managing a para football team at a world cup

Managing a para football team at a world cup

Andy Smith, para head coach and mentor talks about how they prepared, planned and delivered a tournament strategy as a head coach working in a multi-disciplinary team. 


In the lead-up to the 2022 CP World Cup in Spain we completed four training weekends including a tri-nations tournament at St Georges Park involving USA and Scotland. 

Through this process an original group was narrowed down to a 14-man squad who were selected to participate in the first CP international tournament since 2019. 


Working around the tournament game schedule we used the expertise and experience of our staffing team to deliver the planning, execution and recovery phases required in tournament football.  

This involved using planning meetings and open discussions with the multi-disciplinary team as well as player meetings in both group and individual environments to find appropriate solutions to the challenge that a world cup can bring. 


Our aim has always been to deliver high performance outcomes on the back of the preparation and planning as mentioned above. This includes detailed work from my coaching staff, performance analysts, physical performance experts, psychological support, medical team and operational personnel.  

From a training point of view make everything game realistic. We create the same pictures and scenarios the players see in international fixtures within our training camps that will challenge players both in and out of possession and the transitional moments of a game 

We use these sessions with the squad to identify a playing style and system that best suits the players we have available within CP football. Over the course of the year leading up to the tournament we use our contact time with the players to embed a playing philosophy, instil team values and set individual development targets.  

This gives our players and team a clear vision and aim of the expectations we have as a multi-disciplinary team leading up to the premier event within CP football  

  • What are you trying to achieve with your own teams? 
  • What do you need to achieve this? 
  • How will you put this into practice? 

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