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The team had become national heroes in winning gold at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and retaining their title in Sydney four years later but more recent years had seen the Netherlands fall into trophyless decline. Caldas, who led the Netherlands’ women’s team to gold in London in 2012, was charged with restoring the fortunes of the nation’s men. His team reached the quarter-finals of the 2014 Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy in November and December four months after his appointment and it was after that competition in India that he saw the “final drops of poison” leave the body of his team.
Caldas explains: “In that first tournament we struggled as a group because there were barriers to thinking and talking about things.”
The first tournament success came in the form of the 2015 EuroHockey Championships and now he has Olympic gold in his sights. “I’ll never forget the first day,” he says. “I felt like Winston Churchill addressing the troops. I was very direct about what I observed from the outside looking in and I put them to the test to see how they would react.”
In an exclusive interview with the Leaders Performance Institute Caldas describes…
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