Our 3 biggest takeaways from the World Cup 2018

15 July 2018 Ben Cartwright football, fitness, soccer, speed, agility, quickness, tournament, worldcup

I’m writing this as the 2018 World Champions ‘Les Bleux’ lift the prestigious trophy.


On reflection this World Cup has to be up there with one of the best. Plenty of talking points including many favourites falling early, an impressive England performance, contentious VAR decisions and even a manager sacking!


But we want to discuss out biggest takeaways of this great tournament.


1. SAQ Kills!

We don’t think anyone can argue that some of the greatest performances of the tournament have been from some of the world’s greatest speed demons. When referring to SAQ we mean Speed, Agility & Quickness. Mbappe, Hazard & Ronaldo are some of the obvious players that spring to mind. Their ability to produce force and speed from all kinds of situations, sends defenders in to a spin. This highlights the requirement for players in the modern game to be able to express high force and high speeds in certain positions to gain ‘the edge’.

However another takeaway from us is the ‘A’ & the ‘Q’ of SAQ. We have previously discussed that the agility of a player is not how well they move through ladders or how well they move around poles. It is in fact how well they are able to read and react to external stimuli on the pitch.


De Bruyne, Isco, Modric & Rakitic have been some of the standouts in this category. Their ability to beat players in tight situations, break lines & manipulate & take advantage of defenders positions has been the most impressive. As much as these players haven’t necessarily shown the ‘pace’ of the 3 players mentioned above they have shown the speed to move rapidly past players and change direction with or without the ball to great effect.

Many may see these types of players as the modern day player but we think this world cup has shown the need for many player types in order to succeed.


2. Watch in Silence

This is taken straight from a highly respected and good friend of Football Fitness Federation Tim Lees.


Tim made a statement during one of the group games to turn off the commentary and watch the game in silence. We realise many pundits have taken their criticism throughout the tournament but this isn’t the sole reason to do this. It allows you to form your own judgements and opinions of the games and how they are working out. Your views and decisions aren’t made by commentators or pundits but on what YOU actually see.

This ability as a coach is vital and great advice from Tim.


3. Stand up and be counted!


There won’t be many Englishmen out there that are not proud of what our national team have achieved in this tournament. Finishing fourth in the world is no joke. It is also no fluke!


Gareth Southgate and his team went in to the tournament with respect from the fans. His introduction of a new era in English football was definitely recognized and appreciated. Previous performances of the other England teams at all different ages have defined this. He has come out of it with fans singing his name and waiting hours to catch of glimpse of him. We have also come out with the Golden Boot winner!

He has taken a national team that was losing support game after game through constant under achievement and transformed the attitude of a nation. Whether you agree or disagree with tactics and team selections you have to appreciate the confidence and conviction of the man.

Coaches and players everywhere can learn from this attitude. Remember when things are going right everyone wants to be part of it. When things are going wrong people place blame on others and run a mile. That is the time to stand up and make a difference.



The biggest disappointment of this tournament is that we have to wait another 2 years for the Euros and another 4 for the next world cup. However this has definitely been one of the great competitions with endless amounts of lessons and takeaways.


We look forward to hearing what others have taken and learned from the tournament.




Football Fitness Federation