Sport lead

Prof. Jan van Zwieten RI/RA/RO

"Being mentally strong is the most important thing in sports"

Jan Van Zwieten is a former top athlete and internationally well respected expert not only in the sports domain. He is a cofounder of the Sport Lead and is also a founding member of the Mentally Fit Institute, having a worldwide experience in coaching many Olympic winners and many top professional teams.

He finished financial studies; he is a professor of finance and management. He is a director of several mostly educational companies, including his own private university – the Netherlands Business Academy and International Leadership and Business Academy. Professor Jan Van Zwieten is also a mentor of the Sport Lead mental coaches. He played professional football and tennis in his young age and represented Netherland in football. Besides his professional football and tennis career he was also a very successful tennis coach of many top players including Richard Krajicek. He is also a founder of tennis academy in Netherlands.

„Being mentally strong is the most important thing in sports. When I recall my first football game, which my father attended, he was laughing this would be the shortest career ever. I was the worst on the field. I lacked talent. I eventually succeeded. Thanks to my mindset. I learned that everything is relative. If you are not happy, change it. If you don´t change it, don´t complain. On the other hand I knew I couldn´t become a superstar and that my sports career would end. I therefore decided for the academic career. Many top managers come from the sport environment or they are at least good in sports. It is important to perform the best in both jobs. It is about mentality. The difference between the successful and unsuccessful is a disciplined life. But it is not an easy path at all. Better performance in shorter time is requested by people these days. It is very demanding. There is a proportion: the more stressful environment the more coaching you need. The better you are the more coaches you need. Therefore we founded the Sport Lead - we want to be the role models for athletes, coaches, managers. We want to coach them and help them develop. I noticed that the biggest mistake coaches do is that they focus on top talents. However, it is impossible to make a top talent from everyone. But everyone can improve by 10-15% and that is our goal. To develop athletes so they can perform much better in long term. Energy is crucial for the performance too. To become efficient, to gain maximum state of energy, one must capture all aspects. Good diet, sleep, physical activity and emotional aspects too. Therefore we practice holistic mental coaching in sports. All goes hand in hand.”

Projects for:

  • Nike 
  • Ernst & Young
  • ING
  • Citybank


Talent Coach


Still loves sports and plays tennis and golf


Jan van Zwieten – I have my own Club 70+
Interview with Prof. Jan Van Zwieten in Campus Yuste