A life in international sports & business - on and off the track
Born 1966 in Duesseldorf (Germany) and raised in the Rhineland. After graduating from school a bank apprenticeship to become a bank clerk. That was in the mid 1980s. It was an interesting experience, but I knew after a short time that I didn't want to spend my whole life in one place and mostly in offices. The day after my final exams I enrolled at the Sport University in Cologne. Career goal: Something with sports management.
Well, that was in 1990 and the sports industry in Germany and Europe was not as developed as it is today. To finance my studies I organised a couple of sporting events and did some athletics coaching for a local club. To develop my options in coaching, I went to the DOSB Trainerakademie to become a certified trainer. And coaching athletes in pole-vault and decathlon was the first step into my careers into sports.
Assignments at TSV Dormagen (near Cologne), Manchester (UK Athletics), Doha (ASPIRE Academy) and Singapore (Singapore Sports School) followed. The Olympics 2000 in Sydney, as an appointed coach for the South-African Team, were from a coaching point of view probably the most exiting experience.
International and intercultural projects have always interested me and still do. Talking to people from various backgrounds, the view behind structures and societies - not from the desk, but live and in the middle of it. This interest has brought me - not only in sports - to many interesting and rewarding projects and areas of the business world.
My career took another turn just two years before the Olympics in Rio 2016, when i became the sports director of the German Volleyball Federation, where I tried (among other objectives) to create optimal competitive sports structures so that coaches can work optimally and help athletes make the most of their talent. However, I had to learn, that working mostly from office and being caught overwhelming administration structure and long hours of meetings was never my aim.
Hence, I pivoted to consulting and education. Consulting sports organisations, teaching and research is at the center of my activities today. With my workshops and seminars I am providing not only the theoretical basis of sports training & management, but giving my students an insight into the sports industry from practice-oriented view.
In my private life, physical fitness and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle is not only important for me to cope with the often stressful challenges of everyday work, but because I enjoy exercise and improving my athletic performance all my life. Of course, it's no longer about always being the best, but there should be a certain incentive and measurability. Running (2 marathons), cycling tours, swimming, strength training and since some time Cross-Fit and HYROX belong to my favorite sports. Besides, I enjoy spending time with my wife at the lake and in the beautiful nature.
What I do today
"Driving excellence in sports, business and education"
When you've been in business as long as I have, you do well to focus on your strengths and clearly define your mission and values. The mission statement "driving excellence in sports, business and education" actually describes my activities and approach very well. In all three areas, I want to deliver excellent performance or enable people to deliver excellent performance.
Excellence in sports, from my point of view, refers to the pursuit of exceptional performance, sportsmanship, and personal growth within the realm of athletic endeavors.
Skill Mastery: Athletes strive to develop and refine their technical skills, physical abilities, and tactical knowledge in their respective sports. Through dedicated practice, discipline, and continuous improvement, they aim to achieve a high level of mastery in their chosen discipline.
Mental Resilience: Excellent athletes possess strong mental resilience, including the ability to handle pressure, overcome setbacks, and maintain focus and determination in the face of challenges. They develop strategies for managing stress, maintaining motivation, and staying mentally tough, enabling them to perform at their best under demanding circumstances.
Sportsmanship and Fair Play: Excellence in sports goes beyond individual achievements and includes demonstrating good sportsmanship, fair play, and respect for opponents, teammates, coaches, and officials. Excellent athletes uphold the values of integrity, honesty, and ethical behavior, both on and off the field of play.
Continuous Learning and Growth: Excellent athletes embrace a mindset of continuous learning and growth. They actively seek opportunities for self-improvement, seek feedback from coaches and mentors, and remain open to new strategies and techniques. They understand that their journey in sports is a lifelong process of development, and they constantly strive to evolve and adapt to achieve excellence.
These four approaches contribute in my opinion to excellence in sports. By embodying these qualities, athletes can reach their full potential, make meaningful contributions to their teams, and serve as positive role models both within their sport and beyond.
Excellence in business and economic life, from my perspective, encompasses achieving outstanding performance, sustainable growth, and positive impact. Here are four aspects of my approach to achieve excellence in business and economic life:
Ethical Practices and Corporate Social Responsibility: Excellent businesses prioritize ethical conduct, integrity, and transparency in all their operations. They embrace corporate social responsibility by considering the interests of stakeholders, including employees, customers, communities, and the environment. By integrating ethical practices into their core values, businesses can build trust, foster long-term relationships, and contribute to the greater good.
Innovation and Adaptability: Excelling in business requires a commitment to innovation and adaptability. Excellent companies strive to continuously improve and stay ahead of the curve by fostering a culture of creativity, embracing emerging technologies, and anticipating market trends. They are agile in responding to changing customer demands and competitive landscapes, allowing them to seize opportunities and drive sustainable growth.
Customer Focus and Experience: Excellent businesses prioritize customer satisfaction and deliver exceptional experiences. They understand their customers' needs, preferences, and pain points, tailoring their products, services, and interactions accordingly. By building strong relationships, providing personalized solutions, and delivering outstanding customer service, businesses can cultivate loyalty, advocacy, and long-term success.
Talent Development and Engagement: People are the backbone of any successful business. Excellent companies invest in talent development, empowering their employees through training, professional growth opportunities, and a supportive work environment. They foster a culture of collaboration, diversity, and inclusion, enabling individuals to thrive, contribute their best, and align their aspirations with the organization's goals.
With these four approaches I contribute to the development of excellence in business and economic life. With these principles, organisations can not only achieve financial success but also make a positive impact on society, promote sustainability, and create a lasting legacy.
Excellence in education, from my point of view, involves providing high-quality and holistic learning experiences that cater to the individual needs and abilities of learners. Here are four suggestions that contribute to excellence in education:
Personalized Learning Approaches: Recognizing individual differences and learning styles, excellence in education involves designing curriculum and instructional materials that cater to the unique needs of learners. By integrating personalized learning approaches, educators can help students reach their full potential and foster their individual interests and talents.
Collaborative Learning: Promoting collaboration and teamwork in the classroom offers learners the opportunity to learn from their peers, explore different perspectives, and develop their social and communication skills. By incorporating group projects and interactive learning activities, students can enhance their critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
Continuous Professional Development for Educators: Teachers play a crucial role in the quality of education. Providing opportunities for professional development and creating a supportive work environment are essential for improving their pedagogical skills and staying abreast of the latest insights and best practices. Continuous professional development enables teachers to refine their teaching methods and meet the evolving needs of students.
Integration of Technology: In the digital age, excellence in education involves leveraging technology to enhance teaching and learning. Integrating educational technology tools and resources can create engaging and interactive learning experiences, facilitate personalized learning pathways, and expand access to educational opportunities. Effective use of technology can empower students, foster digital literacy, and prepare them for the demands of a rapidly evolving world.
These four aspects contribute in my opinion to excellence in education. By creating a learning environment that addresses individual learner needs, promotes collaboration, supports teacher growth, and harnesses the power of technology, education can achieve excellence in preparing students for success in their personal and professional lives.
Activities in other countries and other cultures are always a challenge and enrichment at the same time. Whether in sports, renewable energy or management, with the right attitude the opportunities to gain new insights into international and intercultural management are huge. International projects make it possible to take the best from different countries, cultures and organizations and apply it to a new concept that fits the client.
Sports & Management
Pathway from Talent to the Olympics
Track & Field | Rugby | Beach-Volleyball | Volleyball
The pathway to the podium is not easy. It requires talent, diligence, a good plan, and someone by your side who knows and accompanies you along the way. As a coach, I have trained athletes from five different countries and helped them make the most of their talent. As head coach and sports director, it's the job to create the best environment for athletes and their coaches to achieve their goals. But sport is much more than just the pursuit of medals, records and victories, because - all over the world - it also has a social function. I have been able to accompany athletes personally and as part of the coaching team on their way from talent to the Olympic podium.