Papa Dacosta, FCA’s partner in the West African country of The Gambia, attended a meeting where Sang Ndong, technical director of The Gambia Football Association, was in attendance. Ndong had been a goalkeeper for the Scorpions, The Gambia’s national soccer team, before serving as the team’s coach and manager, and eventually, the national technical director. His extensive experience provided him with plenty of knowledge about player-coach relationships.
During the meeting, Dacosta talked about 3Dimensional Coaching® (3D Coaching), a training program that develops coaches into transformational coaches. Because Ndong was familiar with both sides of the clipboard as an elite player and a coach, he was attracted to the 3D Coaching program.
3D Coaching is designed for coaches to learn and implement ways to coach the bodies, minds and hearts of their athletes.
After hearing how 3D Coaching drew its principles from the Christian faith, Ndong wanted to see how the program would fit with The Gambia’s soccer program and he agreed to start a pilot. He arranged for two men under his technical mentorship to go through the training: Christopher Allen and Banki Peter Akila.
The two men began the program and learned to coach the 21st-century athlete effectively. The 3D Coaching framework includes strategies to motivate athletes from the inside out, build their confidence, develop team unity, and cultivate positive character traits in their players by learning life lessons through their sports experience.
In the short time since learning about and implementing the 3D Coaching program, Allen, a former national team goalkeeper, has seen a difference in his coaching. The training teaches how the coach’s focus should be on the all-around athlete well-being and not just on skills or what the athletes offer on the field.
“My coaches didn’t care,” Ndong said, regarding a time an injury sidelined him from play. “Now, I am beginning to see another side of coaching. I want to bring about the difference in the coaching arena in The Gambia.”
Banki was so impressed with the program that he wants to see his peers become transformational coaches. “I am beginning to see a whole different approach to coaching,” Banki said. “I will do my best to influence others to go through the same training too, so there can be a paradigm shift in coaching in The Gambia.”
Read more ministry impact stories on FCA in Action and learn about ministry in The Gambia.