If Mark Hull has learned one thing from his global travels as FCA’s International Coordinator of 3Dimensional Coaching, it’s the simple fact that, while cultures can be vastly different, there are two common threads between them all.
“First of all, sport is a sub-culture within all cultures,” Mark explained. “And the higher up you go in sport and the more you move into power performance, the more that culture is the same. Olympic athletes can line up for a race and know what each other had to do to get there, regardless of their nationality.
And the second commonality?
“Everywhere you go, people are three-dimensional beings,” he added.
Because of those truths, Mark has successfully contextualized the 3Dimensional Coaching concept into the many countries that he has been invited. Among his final few stops within the calendar year, there were historic first-time trainings in the neighboring Caribbean islands of Grenada and Barbados.
In Grenada, FCA International leader Bevin Stanislaus served as the catalyst for Mark’s trip. Two years ago, he was in Dallas for ministry training and afterwards traveled to the FCA Support Center in Kansas City. That’s when Bevin first heard about 3Dimensional Coaching. He was immediately interested in bringing the concept back to Grenada.
“Our goal is more about having individual impact,” Bevin said. “It’s more about quality than it is about quantity. That’s why the 3D training jumped out at me the most.”
Bevin’s deep connections within the Grenadian coaching community put the event on solid footing long before Mark arrived. He was able to invite coaches at all levels (club, school, youth, national, etc.) and engage the country’s Ministry of Youth Development, Sports, Culture and the Arts. Over two days, 35 coaches attended Mark’s presentation. Bevin also facilitated a meeting with government officials to discuss potential partnerships.
“It was well received,” Bevin said. “But it didn’t stop there. It was just the foundation that was laid for future things to come and a steppingstone into what will happen with our coaches and our sports leadership.”
Kathy-Ann Gabriel, one of Bevin’s associates, was notably impacted by Mark’s training and came away validated in her pre-existing coaching methods.
“We are not just interested in seeing athletes perform and perform well,” she said. ‘But in the end, you’re looking at engaging youngsters who would be better citizens for our country. And for me, that is the hallmark, not just being able to play a sport.”
According to Mark, many of the coaches he meets, like Kathy-Ann, are already acting as 3Dimensional coaches, but don’t have the specific language to convey their beliefs. Others are simply looking for implementable strategies.
“You can’t really transfer ideas without language,” Mark said. “That helps people structure these concepts. That’s when you empower people to be able to teach others. Now they have a framework. They have a picture. They have the language.”
In Barbados, FCA International leader Dean Squires found Mark’s trip to the Caribbean valuable for another reason. Prior to the training session, Dean had mostly been working with athletes but now had a powerful opportunity to be affirmed as a sports ministry leader within his nation. Dean saw 26 coaches from the recreational youth to national team levels attend the session.
“Dean has great enthusiasm for 3Dimensional Coaching,” Mark said. “The event built credibility for Dean within the coaching community. It was important for some of the higher level coaches and the sports administrator to see the value of what Dean was bringing to the table.”
According to Dean, most of the coaches in attendance already understood that there is something more to sports than the first dimension (physical), while only a handful acknowledged the need to coach the second dimension (mental and emotional).
“But the concept of the third dimension was something that was new for most of them,” Dean said. “That’s what really stood out. That was the ‘eureka’ moment. Everything started to connect with them through the training.”
This was especially true for Oein Josiah, a current elite athlete who recently transitioned into also coaching with the junior national triathlon team.
“Oein already understood that he had an opportunity to have influence over the young athletes,” Dean said. “But after the training, he began to realize that what he had in mind was so small compared to what God was calling him to be.”
Stories like Kathy-Ann and Oein’s energize Mark in his global efforts.
“Our idea is to partner with these sports ministries within those countries,” Mark said. “Once we have those partnerships, our hope is to utilize 3D Coaching when we connect with governing bodies and governments that are looking to train all their coaches. Then, when coaches are looking to go deeper, we can rely on our FCA leaders to foster those relationships.”