This was a great result for England, not only because it was their highest finish ever, but also because it was the first time that they had won a game at the knockout stages.
England’s success has been built on meticulous preparation, creating excellent camaraderie within the squad by keeping everyone involved, and also having the ability to utilise different tactics not only between games but within games.
Much of what England did went against conventional wisdom.
Most teams look to create a settled team with settled tactics.
But England opted to be able to play as many different formations as possible, they wanted to keep the opposition guessing, not knowing how they would line up made if difficult for opposition teams to prepare. They also wanted to have the ability to be able to change tactics at a moments notice as the game situation changed, and have everyone know what to do such that ant transition was very smooth. It also allowed them to keep everyone involved which boosted camaraderie.
This takes great preparation and practice, but for England to achieve their record performance, England coach Mark Sampson needed the team to be able to do things different from how they had done them before.
It was a bold strategy, one many would have shied away from, it was certainly risky. But for England it paid off, and if not for an unlucky own goal in the last minutes of the semi-final, a game I believe England should have won, they would have been rewarded with a place in the final.
Ultimately England finished third, which probably felt like a failure for many in the squad especially when it seemed that a place in the World Cup Final was theirs for the taking, but this was a great result.
Bold leadership, great preparation and a fantastic team spirit being the key ingredients to this success.
This recipe for success is one that works well in sports, business and also in personal life.
As the saying goes ‘Fortune favours the bold’ but it’s great preparation and teamwork which bring those bold moves to successful fruition.
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