My work consists of the guidance of elite athletes, elite teams, elite coaches, military personnel and business people. All of whom are interested in optimizing their behaviour. I work with the mind and heart of people, and help people achieve a state of mental strength, clarity, and focus. To build resilience, mental toughness, and competitive fierceness. I train my clients to remove mental and emotional blocks that inhibit (peak) performance. With a clear mind and heart people can achieve remarkable peak performance experiences consistently. I started my own business, StatuMentis, 7 years ago, and every day I find that my work is not only what I do, but much more who I am.
1. What book(s) have greatly influenced your life?
Although I have read many books in my life, there is one book that has had and still has a big influence in the way I choose to live my life. The book is called “The Last Lecture” and is written by Randy Pausch. It is about achieving your childhood dreams, about daring to dream and reach for the stars. The book has some truly powerful insights, that has been important in my own life. It shows that even though we often do not get what we want, we do get the experience of trying and the beauty of the journey, if we choose to see it. Something often more powerful than our actual goals. The book has taught me that the obstacles we face in life are there for a reason. They give us the chance to show how badly we want something. Obstacles are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people. An insight I use myself every day, to keep moving in the direction I want, and I try to show the people I work with the same. Have the courage to follow your dreams and see the beauty in all that life gives you on your way.
2. How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours?
I am in the fortunate position that I have made many mistakes. I taught myself to be bold enough to try many new things, enabling me to improve myself along the way. But I had to learn to come to that point. In that way, I think my biggest mistake has been the times that I was focused too much on all the things I didn’t have, or that I was lacking in my mind, instead of focusing my energy on all the things I did have and could work with and use to improve the rest. By focusing on the don’ts, I held myself back and weakened myself for no reason. Luckily, I see now that everyone, including myself, has so many assets and qualities to work with, that it is a total waste to focus your energy on everything that isn’t there (YET). Just start working with all the things that you do have, and the rest will follow naturally.
3. In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?
That letting things go, and being sure enough of yourself to do so, can be extremely powerful and productive. I directed my energy and attention more and more on the actions and things that are directly under my control and are helpful in reaching my goals. All the other stuff I let go of and I learned to have the belief that by being busy with doing the right things, good things will happen for me. I don’t force things anymore, but I let them create themselves.
4. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring young coach, what would that advice be?
To have an open mind. To see the players you are working with, not just as pieces on a chessboard, but as human beings. Try to see the individual differences in players and try to understand where they are coming from. Make time to talk to them, on or off the field. Invest in them. I promise you that effort will be reciprocated and pay dividends. If an approach is not working, try to see what you can do differently and be the person you want them to be. Lead from the front.
5. What bad advice do you hear most from your area of expertise?
I don’t want to really talk about bad advice. What I do see, is that a lot of people are still using a very general approach to help other people or situations. I know from experience that this doesn’t work and, aligned with my observations, a lot of basically good interventions in my field of work haven’t been functional enough for that reason. What works for one person or situation, doesn’t necessarily work for another. There are so many variables present when working with individuals that we must identify and adjust our approach accordingly to get the best outcome. A general approach gives a general outcome and general in a peak performance setting is just not good enough. Power lies in the details.
6. Who, in your life, has inspired you most? (and why)
To start off with, my father. Despite the fact I lost my father at a young age, he taught me some powerful lessons. The advice that I always remembered and have used, is to never sell yourself short on education and the chances to gain knowledge. Never try to save money or opportunities in these areas, because you will sell yourself short. I always took that advice with me.
Second person is my husband Christian, he shows me everyday not only to talk the talk, but also to walk the walk and to keep on doing that. As a captain in the US Army he has encountered many difficult situations, but he always keeps situations workable by looking for the positives. He is the example of the “look what you do have approach”, and he always makes the best out of that. Quitting is never an option. There is always something to work with.
And last, but not least, my daughter Skyler. She transformed me from a woman into a mother. An experience that gives me the real purpose in life to be the best version of myself, day in and day out.
7. How would you best define a coach?
For me a true coach is a bursting source of inspiration for anyone around him or her. A person that cares about people, and wants them not only to excel, but also to be happy and to be a good person. A person that leads from the front, and shows people the behaviour he or she desires. If you want energy from your players, be energetic yourself. If you want creative players in matches, provide them the secure environment in which they can fail. Focus on effort and not on mistakes. A true coach is a leader, that provides his or her people, with a powerful and inspiring journey, not an outcome, which will last them a lifetime.
8. What do you do for your own CPD?
I try to keep gaining knowledge. Not only in my own field of work, but maybe even more in other areas of life. I try to keep breaking away from the boundaries my own work sets and look how things are done in other professional areas, industries and countries. Additionally, I try to communicate with as many different people as possible, in which I observe and listen. People, with all their different experiences, are such powerful sources of information. If you listen carefully they will tell you what works and what doesn’t work. I think the true learning power lies in communication and listening, and that is what I try to do most.