Following the first Squad Bootcamp, WorldSkills UK Head of Education and Skills Competitions Parisa Shirazi explains the journey that Squad UK will be going on over the next 14 months and how we prepare them to compete on the world stage.

Journey to Shanghai via Graz

In January we were pleased to announce the finalists from WorldSkills UK LIVE who were successful in securing a place in Squad and we are proud to have representation from all corners of the UK. While we have a keen focus on WorldSkills Shanghai in 2021, we will also be making our selection for the Team who will head out to EuroSkills Graz in September, which will supplement their training programme and benchmark our performance against our European counterparts.

Planning for Success

I am incredibly proud of the performance of Team UK in Russia last summer. To achieve 19 awards and place 12th in the world is a testament to the tireless hard work and dedication of the Competitors, their Training Managers, Coaches and support network of employers, sponsors, families and friends.

Reflecting on our performance we have been covertly planning our strategy in preparation for WorldSkills Shanghai and the practices we will be adopting to improve the outcomes of each individual in Team UK, and the overall performance of the United Kingdom in September 2021.

Training to world-class standards of excellence

“Our methods for technical skills training accelerates the development of high levels of occupational expertise; equipping Squad members with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to carry out complex tasks to high standards of performance in order for them to perform on global stage and transfer their skills back into the work place.”

Over the next 14 months, Squad UK will be training to world-class standards of excellence, undergoing pressure testing and taking part in international exchanges until May 2021 when we review their progression and podium potential and announce Team UK.

Last weekend, our team of Training Managers spent time together planning their strategies for success and training programmes which will officially start from the Spring 2020.

Developing a Champion Mindset

“Consistently delivering performances close to, or even beyond, your capabilities in competition requires a high-performance mindset. Whilst each mindset will be unique to the individual competitor, there are a range of psychological skills, attitudes and behaviours common to high performers.”

Elliott Newell, English Institute of Sport – Senior Performance Pathways Scientist

Last weekend officially launched the Shanghai Cycle with our first Talent Development bootcamp at Loughborough University. It was hosted by Peter Bakare with special guest Dan McCabe from Team UK 2017 and the WorldSkills Champions Trust, and brought together Squad UK, Training Managers and our Performance and Wellbeing Team.

We focussed on introducing the journey to Shanghai with an emphasis on high-performance mindsets. We explored key psychological skills, attitudes and behaviours to help the Squad better understand what it takes to perform at the upper levels of their capabilities.

The Squad members mental strength was truly tested with Storm Ciara disrupting our plans. It was great to see how everyone responded to change and how well they coped under pressure with great camaraderie and team spirit, which is fundamental to Squad UK!

We couldn’t do it without their support

A big thank you to our Training Managers and Performance and Wellbeing team. Our Talent Development programme is underpinned by their expertise, commitment and the support from their employers for releasing them to contribute towards the drive towards world-class excellence. We couldn’t do what we do without their support! Finally, not forgetting the superstar team behind the scenes at WorldSkills UK

Congratulations and good luck to all Squad UK members on their continued journey!

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