Fueled by his passion for teaching athletes the game of soccer, coach Jaír Esmeral desired to bring something more to his team. He wanted a strategy that would spark change and impact the heart of his athletes.
The transformation that would happen not only with his teams, but in his own heart, all started with the simple question, “What can I do to coach differently?”
In the spring of 2019, Roberto Medina, FCA leader in Colombia, had the pleasure of crossing paths with Coach Jaír at a 3D Coaching™ workshop in Colombia. Since then, a lasting friendship has formed, and Medina has seen God move in and through Jaír in powerful ways.
“He was looking for strategies to impact the lives of the kids he was coaching,” Medina said. “After going through the 3D Coaching workshop, he now says his coaching is a lot different. He has a better relationship with the parents and the kids, and most importantly, he’s seen a change in many of the athletes with the 3D framework applied.”
3D Coaching provides coaches with a foundation and framework to teach them how to coach athletes in three dimensions: physical, mental, and spiritual. It gives coaches the tools and strategies to build trusted relationships and ultimately reach the heart of their athletes.
Jaír’s eagerness to learn the best tools and strategies to impact his athletes channeled him to the place where everything changed—the place where he found Jesus. Through 3D Coaching and coaches’ testimonies with FCA, Jaír gave his life to Christ.
“3D Coaching is Jesus’ strategy for every coach.”
-Coach Jaír“He watched every single video and the testimonies on the FCA website, and this is what brought him to Christ,” Medina said.
After putting his faith in Jesus and completing the 3D workshop modules, Jaír began to set himself apart in the way he coached. Medina shared that many people have approached Jaír and asked him what he’s doing, and why his athletes are always happy and encouraged, regardless if they win or lose a game. His response, according to Medina: “I just do 3D.”
As a former professional soccer player, Jaír sought to take on a new perspective of the sport through the eyes of a coach.
“I always wanted to be back in sport with a different perspective,” Jaír said. “I saw and realized coaches before me—they just focused on the physical performance of the athletes. They never went beyond that to have an impact in our society.”
One of Jaír’s key takeaways from the 3D Coaching workshop was the Spotlight Drill. This drill is designed for a coach to “spotlight” one athlete on the team and have each player participate in encouraging and speaking life into that athlete.
Moved by the affirming and motivational aspects of the drill, Jaír excitedly shared with Medina that he took what he had learned and did the drill with his athletes that same day.
“When Coach Jaír did the spotlight drill with one of the coaches he realized if he did this with his athletes, he could have a better relationship and connection with them,” said Medina. “The very first kid he spotlighted was considered a ‘troublemaker.’ After the spotlight drill, the kid’s attitude changed.”
Coaches who are intentional in building a relationship and reaching the heart of their athletes first, can play a vital role in shaping the trajectory of their athletes’ lives.
“Now this athlete is giving more than before,” said Medina. “Before he was not interested in sports, but now he’s interested in sports. Not only because he wants to be a good soccer player, but because he has a good relationship with his coach. It was a change of the heart that gave results in the physical area as well because now he’s one of the best players.”
Jaír’s influence and commitment to sharing the love of God through sport is changing the soccer community throughout Colombia. But it doesn’t stop there.
3D Coaching is just the on-ramp to get coaches on the right journey. “3D Coaching is an opportunity for coaches' education,” said Medina. “It is on the 3D journey that coaches discover that Jesus is on the journey... and they find Him there.”
It’s only by the movement and work of God that the gospel continues to advance through sport in places like Colombia. Please pray for Medina’s efforts in building relationships with coaches in Colombia, and that the ministry of FCA would continue to grow. Also, pray that Coach Jaír would continue to lead boldly and that more people would experience the love of God through his influence as a coach.
Click here to support Roberto Medina’s ministry and visit fcaworld.org to learn more about what FCA is doing throughout the world.
Photos courtesy of Roberto Medina