Top female hockey athlete Kim Lammers on how to strike gold
The 7th of March Deloitte hosted International Women’s Day as part of the Diversity and Inclusion Week. Amongst its speakers was former top hockey athlete Kim Lammers, who taught 30 female college students what it is like to set goals, persevere, and ultimately reach the top.
Vera Brouwer | March 28, 2018
Top athletes often struggle in pursuing a business career after having retired from participating in sports on a professional level. They often face discrimination when it comes to age and experience, even though they are often in possession of the biggest winner mentalities you can find. They know like no other what it is like to work hard and stop at nothing to accomplish your goals. This was also shown by the guest speaker Kim Lammers.
As a former professional hockey player who has managed to get her hands on gold during the Olympics, Kim is currently managing a special athlete’s programme in order to help former top athletes pursue a business career. And not without result: Already 8 athletes are currently employed by Deloitte.
Kim Lammers was a born striker. From 7 years old onwards she started playing hockey and scored one goal after another. When she became 21 she knew for sure: She wanted to participate in the Olympics and show the world she was the best. However, she had to watch this dream collapse as she got the victim of her own insecurities. By always watching others she forgot to evaluate her own skills. On top of that, she suffered a terrible injury, taking her one year to recover.
After the Olympics in Beijing, the Dutch Women’s Hockey Team got appointed a new head coach. Under his guidance, it became evident that the team might be the strongest group, but at the same time was the weakest team. What they lacked most was understanding of the unique competencies of each other and the insights on how to utilize these in order to create a synergy. With the help of a special insight tool the ladies learned that ‘We all do the same, only different’. Add to this the surprise trip the team had to Alicante where they were awaited by soldiers on the airport. Under their supervision, the Dutch female hockey team had to participate in teaming exercises under the most extreme circumstances. It took three days with barely any food and terrible environmental circumstances. It was hard but efficient: Kim got whipped into shape and she not only got invited to the London Olympics, but their team won gold as well.
As a key learning, Kim shared:
“Set clear, realistic goals for yourself without looking at others in order to create a pathway to the person you want to be. And last but not least: create that team around you that will help you get there.”