You can't really play hockey in Beying. The heat, the smog and the humidity make it dangerous even for athletes. Everyone said: 'What a crisis?!...' I thought: 'Yes, a crisis...'I enjoyed the challenge. It would come down to the most creative solutions, the best way to beat setbacks. That has almost become my second nature.
For eight years, I was the national coach for ladies' hockey in the Netherlands. In 2004, we didn't win silver at the Olympic Games in Athens. We lost gold. I've never had a tougher time than that in my entire career. But I accepted the challenge to succeed in the Olympic mission overthe following four years. Don't run away, but fight.
Now, a year after winning the gold medal in Bejing 2008, I can look back on it. I see many similarities between top-class sports and management and leadership. Especially in times of a crisis. A crisis is the ideal time to change. Because, when you do what you did, you will get what you got. During my career as a national coach I collected eleven chances that can turn a crisis around. I am happy to share them.