Team Jumbo-Visma coach Merijn Zeeman: “You are not your thoughts”

Merijn Zeeman is an alumnus of the Master in Coaching and sportive director and team manager of the Jumbo-Visma cycling team, which has made him an expert in coaching. As such, he is able to transfer all of his knowledge to the new student-coaches as a personal coach

“The dynamics of the group reinforces the process of individual development. A group of people with a passion for sport, who are able to open up to one another, creates a beautiful energy where people can realize their full potential. It is the personal development of students that stands out for me, every year,” says Merijn Zeeman about the program.

The cycling coach got his Master in Coaching diploma in 2012 and decided that it would be good for the entire coaching staff of Team Belkin –now Team Jumbo-Visma– to participate in the program as well. And that’s what happened.

Shortly after, Merijn was approached by our core faculty members to become a personal coach for the students of the Master program. It didn’t take him more than a second to decide. As a personal coach, he guides individual students on how to achieve their personal goals. “Johan Cruyff always said that you first have to learn to coach yourself, before you can coach others. He also thought it was important that more people with a passion for sport, and mainly ex-athletes, should manage sport. That vision of Johan Cruyff and Johan Cruyff Institute is appealing to me, so I am very pleased to offer my skills to help the students.”

Team Jumbo-Visma coach Merijn Zeeman: “You are not your thoughts”

How does Merijn handle personal coaching? “With coaching, everything is about making contact and overcoming vulnerability. Sincere interest in someone’s thoughts and behaviors will set the development in motion.” Merijn notices this in the students: “Students experience steps forward in their coaching; that is very moving, and makes them –and me– enthusiastic.”

Merijn Zeeman is an experienced coach, and has been active at the highest levels since 2012. His vision of coaching is interesting: “As a coach, you have to develop yourself continuously. You have to learn from what you have inside you, to make proper choices about your behavior. I always say: you are not your thoughts! Awareness of who you are, what drives you and what you do, will always help you in your personal and professional development.”


Leadership in Coaching

The Leadership in Coaching Program in Amsterdam is developed for everybody (in or outside sports) who seeks self-knowledge and self-development with the aim to improve oneself as a (sport) coach and/or manager. This 10-month program is delivered in Dutch and based on the vision of Johan Cruyff in which sport coaching is more than using tactical and technical knowledge. It is about knowing yourself and developing your own unique coaching style, and to apply that to the players / staff, the team and the environment. We believe that you can only coach others, if you know how to coach yourself.

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