Charles Van Commenee


Charles Van Commenee is a peak performance speaker and was the Head Coach of UK Athletics and driving force behind a highly successful performance during the 2012 London Olympics. Charles is one of the most respected athletics coaches in the world, making a habit of reaching and exceeding targets in order to push his athletes to the limit. His clinical and passionate approach to his coaching has led to the nickname, the ‘Volcano’.

Charles is an ideal personality to act as a peak performance speaker, challenging audience members to become the best they can be and to push themselves more than before. He considers planning, preparation and being meticulous in every detail to be key factors in being able to perform at the very highest level.

Before working with the UK Athletics programme, Charles acted as the Chef de Mission for the Netherlands Olympic Team during the 2008 Beijing Games. Gaining huge experience of managing a team of 400 people whilst working alongside Head Coaches and Chairmans/CEOs of federations meant his four years experience in this position were invaluable.

Charles’ working life has meant he has developed into one of the world’s leading experts on performance management. In presentations and speeches as a keynote speaker and business speaker, Charles portrays simple strategies and ideas to get the best out of people in their own environment.

Charles became a prominent athletics leadership figure when he began to coach British athlete Denise Lewis in 1994. His style and approach was so impressive that Denise decided to move to Amsterdam in order to train on a full-time basis with Charles.

The pair’s work would mean Denise would go onto become a champion at both European and Commonwealth levels in 1998 before becoming a World Champion in 1999. Achieving peak performance is an attribute Charles instills in athletes with ease, a skill relatable to business environments during talks as a peak performance speaker.

It was when Denise Lewis took Gold at the 2000 Olympics that Charles’ reputation came to the forefront of the Athletics arena. Denise claimed much of her success had come from Charles’ ‘drive to win’ and focus. After a spell as Performance Director of the Netherlands Olympic Committee, Charles was appointed Head Coach of British Olympics in January 2009. Charles’ efforts led to one of the best performances by the nation in recent history at the London Olympic Games.

To book Charles Van Commenee as the keynote speaker for your corporate event or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.

  • Peak Performance Speaker
  • Business Speaker
  • Change & Performance Management
  • Competitiveness
  • Business Strategy

“Charles delivered a one hour presentation on Leadership and Coaching at our annual conference. His messages and core themes were perfectly aligned to what we expect from our leaders and his coaching philosophy was one that we can all learn from and apply. His no compromise approach to accountability will ring true to any organisation that is serious about performance.” – Santander Corporate Banking