“Guus Hiddink: Going Dutch” Review by Terry Michler
Guus Hiddink: Going Dutch By Maarten Meijers
Personal:Guus Hiddink –Vigor and energy. No shortage of willpower, no lack of self-confidence. Knows what he wants, knows where he is going. Keen intelligence but not necessarily of the academic type –‘street smarts”
Practical, applicable wisdom. Certain reserve and dignified sophistication. Warm humane person with kindness and tolerance – charisma. A regular person who can fit in many places. Very calm man, who develops a certain plan with clear objectives, but flexible enough to adapt to certain challenges while remaining true to his original vision while pursuing his goals. The Early Years:Born in Varsseveld, a rural town surrounded by farms, of less than 6000 people near the German border. His father was a teacher and principal at the local school and a good soccer player. Calm and down-to-earth type, proud of his son’s achievements, but not gloating. Decorated for his war effort to help Jews avoid German captivity and death. His mother was helpful towards the needs of others – charity type work. Much can be learned about the famous coach by understanding his father and mother. The social content and moral substance of the parent’s were not lost on the children.
6 boys in the family, Guus was third in the orderHis childhood ambition was to be a farmer, a’stront boer’ Dutch for ‘shit farmer’ –one whoraises animals and sells the manure as fertilizer. He spent a lot of time on the farm as youngster growing up and learned how to interpret animal behavior and in turn, then human behavior. He thoroughly enjoyed soccer and played every chance he had. In his area growing up, many people when getting sick would prefer to see the vet instead of thedoctor because the vet would diagnose by looking and feeling without talking – no endless discussions and psychologising, just looking and sensing what was the matter. Guus applied thatmethod when dealing with his players – intuition and observation, rather than dialogue.
In one and the same human being, the cosmopolitan qualities of an educated, well-traveled world citizen dwell side by side with the desires of a boy drawn to the simple delights of theDutch countryside – farmer Hiddink and coach Hiddink.