Belgium Coach Marc Wilmot prepares team hotel for World Cup 2014

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World Cup Preparation: Making sure players aren’t bored

Marc Wilmots, the manager of the Belgium World Cup team has been working hard to ensure that his team won’t be bored during their World Cup campaign in Brazil. The manager wants his players to unwind by going fishing in between games and so this week he arranged to have two Lorries of trout to be placed in a lake near their hotel in Mogi das Cruzes, 50km from Sao Paulo. Wilmots explained “When I played for Belgium years ago, we used to stay in Monasteries and it was so boring. I want my players to always have something to do.”

Inset: Belgium Manager Marc Wilmot: “It’s mind-blowing”

The Belgium manager makes a valid point. To get a bit sports science on you folks: players that are bored are not able to perform at their optimal levels. This has a big impact on arousal – the physiological and psychological state of being awake or reactive to stimuli. Athletes that are bored become more introvert and this causes concentration problems and fatigue in mental processes (Slepcevic and Jokovljevic, 2001).

Players from the England football team complained about boredom during their 2010 World Cup campaign in South Africa. Based in the remote area of Rustenburg, players complained about being too isolated from the outside world. England defender John Terry controversially spoke out saying: “We’re in a hotel, we finish training and have lunch at one o’clock, but then we have hours to spare. There are things to do around the training camp: mini darts tournaments, snooker and pool. But a bit of boredom kicks in. It’s six or seven hours until we meet up for dinner again.”

This may have contributed to England’s lacklustre performance in the World Cup along with several other factors. By comparison, the Dutch team that finished second overall were located in the heart of Johannesburg and were free to walk around the busy area and speak to press, as if they weren’t even playing a major tournament. So maybe there is something to be said about being in a louder, busier area. It makes you more stimulated and alert, ideal for fast-paced sport.

 Belgium Hotel World Cup

The Belgium world cup team will be staying at the Paradise Golf and Lake Resort in Mogi das Cruzes. At the Belgium World Cup hotel, other than fishing, players can enjoy pedal boats for use on the lake, a golf course, a basketball court and tennis courts. If the players prefer to amuse themselves indoors, they can play table tennis or pool or even take their seats at the hotel’s cinema. For training, there is a beautiful fully-equipped gym and perfect grass football pitches which have been made specifically for the Belgium team.


Showing how passionate he is about the his team’s well-being during the World Cup tournament, Marc Wilmot worked very closely with the hotel’s staff to ensure that that the hotel was in great shape for the Belgium national team. In this following video, Wilmot walks you through the hotel’s facilities including the pool, football pitches, gym and cinema. This will give you a feel of how the Belgium Red Devils will be preparing for the World Cup.

Belgiumtowineuro2016 is a fan site dedicated to the young Belgium national team and their journey for World Cup 2014 and Euro 2016 glory.

By Daniel Tannenbaum

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