The women national team of Canada takes a different approach to Rio 2016 after their World Cup performance.
By this time last year, the head coach of the team was at a base camp helping the team soar in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Last summer’s tournament was held in Canada and the pressure was much unlike this summer’s Olympics. This has made the preparation for Rio de Janeiro has been different in so many ways. From the beginning with outside influences, family, friends, media, that have diminished ahead of these Games.
The coach said the World Cup was like climbing Everest while commenting on their plans ahead of the team’s upcoming friendly against Brazil on Saturday at Toronto’s BMO Field. She added that the home event was the biggest stress in term of dealing with the team’s preparation, the scrutiny and consequences. The World Cup preparation was really vigorous.
“We wanted to make sure we were an organized and disciplined tactically. We never thought we would out-technical the Brazilians or the French (at the World Cup).
“But we thought we could out-organize them and be more adaptable on the pitch. The focus was to get as many sessions in together. In 2016, we planned to put the players back into their professional leagues for longer.”
Herdman says she wants to instill the winning mentality in the team and will continue seeking back-to-back friendly games aside the scheduled ones in Toronto and Ottawa. She will also ask that the selected players demand more minutes at their respective clubs.
Herdman said the World Cup was different when compared to the Olympics as there’s the “the social, emotional and mental piece.” She also mentioned that there would be changes in the team as there are a lot of young players coming through the ranks and more injuries are popping up. The team has a final Olympic tune-up against France in Auxerre on the 29th of next month before going to Brazil where they will trade tackle with Australia, followed by Zimbabwe then Germany.