Once thought impossible, John Herdman has completely transformed Canadian soccer, turning two struggling teams into World Cup contenders. He is the first coach to qualify both a women’s national team and men’s national team for the World Cup — a feat that has made him internationally renowned. In his riveting talks, Herdman shares his proven performance philosophies, showing the importance of vision, passion, and discipline in achieving success, whether it’s on the field or in the office.
Herdman is currently the head coach of the Canadian men’s national soccer team. He accepted the position in 2018 with the goal of turning the team into World Cup contenders. In 2022, Herdman made history as he led the men’s national team to their first FIFA World Cup qualification since 1986.
Prior to coaching the men’s team, Herdman was the head coach of the Canadian women’s national soccer team. Under his leadership, the team won two back-to-back bronze medals at the Olympic Games; a gold medal at the Pan Am Games, the first in Canadian soccer history; and a top-six finish at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In 2017, Herdman won the Jack Donohue Coach of the Year Award and he and the team were recognized with the CONCACAF Outstanding Performance Award.
Herdman has been credited with revolutionizing how soccer is organized and delivered through his award-winning “Whole of Football Plan”. He developed this as New Zealand’s director of football development and head coach of the New Zealand women’s national football team. He coached the team from 2006-2011 with the team qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cups in 2007 and 2011, and at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.