My Story

I believe my best gift is to help people accomplish ownership over their progress.  To empower them by developing their potential, increase their performance and design their own future.

Teaching high-performance habits…

In 2006 I started at FC Twente, building the first professional women football team in the Netherlands. We were the only club, for 4 years who integrated a full professional Girls Academy alongside. In the years that followed, Shanice van der Sanden, Sari van Veenendaal, Anouk Dekker and others like them, evolved from promising amateurs to full-blown European Champions! They became role models,  impacting a whole generation to be better and do better. While sports commentators only started taking an interest in their performances after they became European Champions, we reveled in their development long before their efforts paid off.

Sure, we never know what will happen when we invest in talented people. But I am convinced they will positively surprise us when given the opportunity.

It was this experience that shaped my purpose: To use football as my vehicle to inspire, empower and coach talent, to develop their potential and improve their perspective.

Every project, assignment, and initiative since has been tied to this. And as a Certified High-Performance Coach, I help people improve their perspective on - and off - the field by teaching and coaching high-performance habits. Over the years, my work expanded from football fields to high schools, board rooms, and conference halls. But the message has remained the same: the authority over your progress is yours alone. 

''Let no one ever convince you, you are dreaming to big.''


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I know how to translate my experience from Top-football to your audience. Passionately.

More importantly, I move people from inspiration to tangible action and show them how to take ownership of their lives or careers again. Want to learn more? Watch the video on the left or contact me for more information.

Previous performances include TEDx, Universities, Corporate Events, UEFA, and Coaches Conventions.


  • Talent development
  • Team performance: Team Nobody to Dynasty
  • Leadership
  • Equality to the top: But what about the boys?
  • Score Global Goals: Prizes or Priceless?


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From Amateurs to Dynasty

In the 10 years I worked with many of the now Dutch women’s national football team players, many of the players I worked with evolved from amateurs to European Champions. What is the concept behind the 10.000 hour-rule? How have clubs like Ajax, Manchester United, and Barcelona built their dynasty? And what separates the great from the good?

In an interactive and challenging Keynote, I discuss the following topics:

  • How to build a successful team?
  • Which 7 strategies are vital for progress?
  • About the leadership role: how to coach your team to world-class quality?
  • About winning: Never change a winning team, they say.  But shouldn’t you?


Equality? What about Boys?

In an inspiring, lighthearted, and game-changing keynote on diversity,  I will share my vision on the war for talent and remind you of the blind spots that leave potential untapped.

Are you ready to gain a fresh perspective on how to develop potential? Football has always been notoriously set in its ways. That’s why I created a unique model for equality and performance.

  • You will learn how the Dutch women inspired a whole country, especially the Dutch men’s national football team.
  • I will move the elephant out of the (board)room and replace it with the energy to act.
  • You will leave with a framework for sustainable progress to score Global Goals.




Football Analyst

When analyzing matches, I’m always prepared like a pro. But as a former professional football coach, I am also willing to offer challenging and sometimes provoking insights. I don’t stop at the obvious: I love to take the extra mile.

I share my expectations of the game upfront. Before half-time,  I will offer my opinion on changes in the system or the team – while keeping the analysing Club Coach vision in mind.

Previous analysis work:

  • WorldCup Men South Africa
  • Copa America Men ESPN
  • Gold Cup MEN ESPN
  • Women WorldCup France
  • Beinsports WorldCup France
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As an independent expert, I advise boards and management teams on developing talent and increasing team performance.

With extensive experience as a (high-performance) coach, technical director, and founder of professional academies and women’s football teams, I am fully equipped to help you develop your High Potentials and increase your Teamperformance.

Previous (and current) consultancy includes my work as a technical leadership expert for FIFA. My main focus there is to close the Global Performance Gap, working mostly with Technical Directors and General Secretaries.


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Holland Football University 

In 2016, I started the Holland Football University to help develop, educate and empower players and coaches globally.

Coaches develop a coaching compass and high-performance leadership skills to improve the way they work with talent.

Players learn high-performance habits and create a performance compass to improve their achievements and grow positive relations. Learning how to perform on a higher level, more consistent.

Clubs and federations professionalize their player and coaches programs and create a high-performance environment. Where everyone works from a Mindset where Process and Progress are in the heart of daily work.


More about Holland Football University

FootballEquals Foundation

''Football is Big, so how can we tackle Big challenges for the next Generation?'' 

Football can help us tackle unproductive assumptions. Convictions that do nothing but obstruct our progress. The most important goals to score are the Global ones that promote gender equality, reduce inequality and combine football with school education. When I realized that, I started the FootballEquals Foundation.

We use football as a vehicle to achieve global UN goals, creating a better perspective for the children involved. We do so by helping talented and ambitious players to grow their skills and improve their outlook.

The FootballEquals Foundation professionalizes football with a purpose!


More about FootballEquals

People Mary has worked with