Not your classical biography
A book in which I examine all the values ​​and assets that basketball has taught me.

Book Content

I sometimes get asked how a shy girl from Waasland becomes an internationally acclaimed sports personality. Thanks to my own resilience, guts and flexibility. Thanks to the feedback, trust and responsibilities that come with teamwork. And thanks to the peace that my family offers me.

Now it is my turn to share these lessons with others.

The power of the process

Life is one big journey, where the destination is not the most important.

The best thing about my Olympic adventure is not the end in Tokyo, but the road to it. The process. Cherishing a dream, working hard to make that dream come true – with all the sacrifices, perseverance and dedication that entails. I have knit a wonderful end to my career, but above all I have learned a lot.

Of course you can (should?) be ambitious and set goals, especially as an athlete. But it’s not those goals themselves that give meaning to your life. What does give meaning is the road to those goals and what you have gained in terms of experiences and wisdom. It’s about the power of the process, and that power has never been more tangible than during those last years with the Belgian Cats.

The resilience and strength of the individual

Resilience is not a talent that you are born with. It is a skill that you can work on.

It’s about knowing where you want to go, and not letting obstacles turn you off that path. Learn from setbacks instead of desperately grieving and sticking to routines that will help you reach your goal. Coming up with bold solutions or daring to forge new paths for a better, more stable future. Stand firm in stressful situations and deal with changes with the right amount of flexibility.

But also understand when you need to take a break to recharge your batteries and recharge your batteries, in an environment or with people who calm you down.
This skill is embedded in sports and I like to share how I gained resilience in basketball, but also how it is useful outside of sports.

In this chapter we talk about visualization, positive self-talk, routines, guts and flexibility. We implement these skills to stay close to yourself in every situation and thus make your mark.

The power of your environment

A social network of people with whom you can connect, who can inspire you and who also help you to monitor the balance between work and private life, pressure and rest, effort and recovery.

After all, recovery is just as important as performance.

The power of teamwork

It is sometimes said that TEAM stands for ‘Together Everyone Achieves More’, but I have indicated a new interpretation. “To me, TEAM stands for Trust, Energy, Accountability and Mindset. Those are exactly the elements that have ensured that the Belgian Cats have completed such a beautiful course in recent years.”

Trusting each other and daring to give and receive feedback – in the interest of a common goal – is a vital part of teamwork.

There was something magical about the energy and infectious enthusiasm surrounding the Belgian Cats. It was the glue for our mutual bond, our involvement, our commitment, and has proved to be the DNA of our team in the following years.

I have taken on a variety of roles over the years and have seen the importance of collectivity and complementarity from many different perspectives.
Let everyone fulfill their own role with their own responsibility. Because together you can achieve more.

Focus on what’s important now, but keep learning. To win, you must learn from defeat, rather than be discouraged by it. This way you create a growth mindset to always grow and get better, despite setbacks.

The game of life

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The game of life provides a detailed insight into my own career and inspires anyone chasing a dream: personally or as a team, in sports and in the workplace.