Scoring under pressure
“When I joined Heren-1 of the field hockey team Oranje Zwart in 2012, there was a lot of talent and ambition, but no coordination and continuity. In their entire existence, they had become champions once, but that was an incident.”
Michel van den Heuvel is now head coach of HC Bloemendaal and the national team of Belgium. However, Michel has been connected with Orange Black all his life and he is an honorary member. For more than ten years he has been receiving coaching from Rogier Offerhaus of People Change and he uses the People Change Scan. How did he bring Heren-1 van Oranje Zwart to structural success?
A healthy club
“The Advisory Board consists of three people in 2012: the chairman works on the financial reorganization, another on the sports-administrative side and I focus on the sports-content side. We want to make a healthy club of Oranje Zwart again and structurally participate in the top. Not only with the first team, but also for youth training.
I brought back players who had left the club before; enormous talents who had grown out of the organization, but who do belong to the club’s family. Their return is an important signal: we really want to achieve something together.
Performance under pressure
The first year of the new composition of the players’ group is not an immediate success, but I can make a selection. I see people who are able to withstand pressure and people who are going to perform worse under pressure. Under pressure, processes change, so people stop doing what they’re good at, or even cramping up. It causes stress, the team is not effective and has insufficient decisiveness. With the People Change Scan I can make it discussable. It makes it clear what happens to the people and the team. You can name the energy you need to be effective.
With new people we make an extra step and after a year the group is complete. Through their mutual relationships they strengthen each other under pressure, instead of weakening each other. In order to make the step to winning, you have to be very close to each other. In the last step before the final kill, you really need to be connected and understand what is happening.
A long-term process
The transformation of a team is an intensive process, with a long lead time. You create a platform with a new way of looking at things and working in such a way that you can be the most successful. But this new situation can also disappear; there is never a guarantee. The transformation is aimed at a specific composition of Heren-1 and the culture; how people interact with each other. If, for example, five new people join a hockey team at the same time, as in Bloemendaal, you actually start over again. A different composition results in a different ranking with different norms and values and what you have built up disappears.
With the results of the People Change Scan I can make the situation under normal circumstances clear and I can show how under pressure the energy changes, and thus the balance in the team. If you don’t act optimally under pressure, you need to understand what this stress does to you. Most people shift to the left under pressure; they become autocratic red and are then limited in what they can do. It is important that you keep an overview of the race under pressure in order to be able to make the right choice.
I want to teach the team to stay in their power under pressure and to use the beautiful colours they normally have. With the Scan I make it discussable, connect those people to buddies so that they can pick themselves up during the game and go to the right energy. The power and transfer of the interpretation determines the success of the Scan; it is a larger process than the Scan alone.
Ego’s in the top sport
Top sport is always about egos. A number of people from Heren-1 have known each other for a long time. They have very different ideas about how they fill in life. I have also made that visible. If they understand that from each other, a kind of tolerance construction arises: ‘Okay, he’s the way he is. But within our environment of the hockey team, he has to act that way, and I’ll help him to do that.’
Creative player in red
For example, I have a very creative player, who always gives something extra, which gives us a surprising weapon. But under pressure, he’s shooting extremely towards autocratic red. Other players won’t understand what’s going on with him, and he forgets to use his creativity. The beauty of team sports is that you don’t have to do it alone. Others, like your coach and your buddy, see signals and can help such a player in the moment.
This creative man has little blue energy to oversee the structure. Someone else in the field supports him in this. For example, he shouts: ‘The team is now too far apart.’ In this way, the guardian of the structure and the initiator of creativity recognize each other’s strengths, which gives the team more balance. And you can see that in the competition. Now we can switch quickly in the game. And that is necessary because in ten minutes a few goals can just fall.
The result is that with this team we became national champions three times in a row and even won the European title in 2015.”
People Change stimulates teams to do a lot themselves. In Rogiers coaching he advised Michel as a green manager to go away with the team for a few days.
Top player Florian Fuchs of HC Bloemendaal: “The first season we had no pressure anyway. The second season was really a big disappointment. You have to learn something from that first season, but we did exactly the same thing. Mentally we were too busy with negative things, not really played our game. Then you see that everyone is busy with themselves and the connection is lost.” Exactly there is the difference with the current season. “We’ve had learning moments now. During the season, but especially during the team outing to France in the Easter days. There we talked a lot with each other, completely open and honest. In a way I’ve never experienced before. We haven’t had those moments in the first seasons and I think that’s the big difference. Mentally, we’ve really taken a step forward. That doesn’t give any guarantee, but I think that we as a group will enter the play-offs in a different way,” he says in Hockey International, May 2019.
Twentieth national title
The hockey players of Bloemendaal have finally succeeded in dethroning Kampong as champion of the Netherlands. At the end of May Bloemendaal became national champion for the twentieth time after nine years. In a mutual and decisive playoff game, they triumphed 2-0 by hits by Jorrit Croon and Florian Fuchs. On behalf of the whole team of People Change congratulations!