Spotlight on Performance

We are fortunate to work with visionary business leaders, top athletes, and diverse and talented individuals who are committed to achieving excellence in all aspects of their lives. In our work, we are not just sharing our knowledge, but also always learning and growing through the process ourselves.

This is my place to share my views on sustainable high performance with you on a quarterly basis.

Q4 · 2019
Proudly announcing – the new book: A TRUE ATHLETE

Michelle Gisin, who I have been working with for a couple of years, achieved an epic feat during the last Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang in 2018: she became the first Swiss female athlete to win Olympic Gold in Alpine skiing combined. Michelle had already had a pretty good chance of winning a medal in the Downhill race the day before – which would have been her dream, as her sister Dominique had raced to Gold in this event four years earlier at the Sochi Games – but everything turned out differently.

Fighting to the finish

Dominique accompanied Michelle to PyeongChang, coaching her with the utmost care before every race. Michelle was fit, fully trained and mentally prepared. Everything seemed perfect but things went downhill in every way from there.

“Even the very first bends seemed strange,” she says. “I couldn’t make the turns and accelerate as usual, let alone stay on my racing line. I fought so hard all the way to the finishing line. And what’s more, I finally crashed there, sprawled on the ground, my dream shattered. The only thing I could think was: ‘I’ve failed.’”

What had gone wrong? In the first few meters Michelle’s skis had ‘burnt’. The iced piste had bitten deep into the edges of her skis, damaging them so it became impossible for her to stay in control at breathtaking downhill speeds up to 100mph. Michelle managed to keep her balance until the finish line, where she finally lost her grip and crashed, suffering severe bruises and concussion.

As a result of this disaster, Michelle approached her very last race – Alpine combined – under the worst conditions that you could possibly have for an Olympic race.

30 hours that would determine triumph or defeat

There were just 30 hours to go before Michelle’s last race, and all hope was focused on her last chance for a medal at the Games. Those hours would make the difference between triumph and defeat. It was Dominique’s role as sister and coach, and my task as her performance psychologist, to raise Michelle’s morale and confidence, reviving the energy and vigor she still possessed, despite her mental anguish. There could be no doubt or hesitation, nothing could be left to chance. Our coaching and support had to be spot on.

Out now: A TRUE ATHLETE – The Book

Our new book A TRUE ATHLETE tells the story of the 30 thrilling hours prior to Michelle’s history-making race, from three different angles: Michelle’s as athlete, Dominique’s as sister and coach, and mine as their performance psychologist. The book also describes the Gisin-family living strong virtues like loyalty and solidarity impressively. Lots of pictures illustrate what friends and family have known all along: How similarity and diversity combine and unite these exceptional sisters and how they each accomplished the pinnacle of success – Olympic Gold medals.

What Leaders can Learn

The Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang were a huge learning experience for all of us, especially for Michelle, and the book shares what she learned and how she grew. Here is a taste of the insights the book offers for leaders:




Michelle knows that peak performance stems from vigorous training and constant adaptation, based on a huge investment of energy, time and discipline. It takes courage to walk such a path.




Michelle relies on a strong network that she can count on to support her when it matters most.
Building such a network also takes work.




Who does not love the joy of achieving? But living only for success is a poor strategy when times are tough. Michelle has learned to appreciate her journey as well as her destination, overcoming obstacles and celebrating every small step towards her goal.

Michelle Gisin embodies all the qualities of A TRUE ATHLETE. I hope her story will inspire you as you make your own journey towards success.

The book will be released on November 28th in four languages: English, Italian, French and German. Order at and learn more about the new Key Note, in which I am involved, too. Follow Michelle’s current skiing season at

Wishing you a happy and successful finish to the year.