Make Mission

By Dr. Chris Hobbs

Scott Frey is a college women’s soccer coach at Messiah College. He’s a little different though. He’s won. A lot. Not just a lot, but more than anyone else in his profession on his level. He’s coached 451 games and won 425 of them. His teams have played for 8 national championships and won 4 of them. Maybe more importantly, he changes the lives of the student-athletes he coaches. I’ve seen it firsthand. I have friends in the profession that have seen it first-hand. The student-athletes he coaches become insanely good soccer players, but they become even better people. A book has been written called, The Messiah Method, which describes the leadership principles behind the success of the women’s and men’s (they’ve won even more!). I’d encourage it for anyone that enjoys sports and cares about leadership. One of my favorite quotes in the book comes from Coach Frey when he describes enduring the difficulty of conditioning.

“’The only thing worse than running is running without a purpose.”

Scott Frey


Athletic directors that can align their coaches under one mission can create incredible impact across the entire face of a community. There are over 8 million high school student-athletes and many athletic departments boast 50% or more of their student body participates in athletics. Imagine if every coach was tightly aligned under the same mission of influence on young people. Utilizing the 3D Coaching framework can move entire athletic departments into a unified understanding of how to influence student-athletes in all three dimensions: fundamentals, psychology, and heart. Once an athletic director has decided to enact a mission-minded program like 3D Coaching they now have a framework to have this community-wide impact. Once you’ve established your mission, here are three other suggestions for how ADs can communicate a 3D mission message:

Clear: Your 3D message doesn’t have to be complex or creative. In fact, there will be others that have almost an identical mission as yours. Your message does need to be clear and for it to be simple it needs to be clear. What makes your mission unique is how clear you describe it and how you go about accomplishing and communicating it to others. In their abbreviated versions, Lombardi would seem to have been preaching a win at all costs philosophy. That is exactly the legacy attached to Lombardi and the principle that I adhered to growing up. Losing was unacceptable and cause for great despair. Whether I was playing football in the backyard or watching the Packers on television, any loss was a devastating occasion.

Convincing: If you want to know how to convince yourself or others of your 3D mission just replace the word ‘convincing’ with ‘consistent.’ If you consistently remind yourself and others of the 3D mission it will be convincing. I do believe there are only two options for a convincing message: you are either under-communicating it or over-communicating it. There is no middle ground here.

Celebrate: There is an old leadership principle that what you punish you’ll eliminate but what you celebrate you’ll produce. Whether it’s your student-athletes, athletic trainers, coaches, or volunteers, I’d encourage you to stop and celebrate when the mission is accomplished by those that you are leading. You will plant seeds that will produce more of those celebrations.

ESPN College Basketball Analyst and practicing lawyer, Jay Bilas, in his book ‘Toughness‘ describes an experience touring an army base in the middle east with U.S. soldiers. He asked them how they get their duties done in such extreme heat (it can sometimes get above 130 degrees). Their response describes well how important knowing your mission can be. “The circumstances don’t matter, Mr. Bilas. We know our mission and we know we have to make mission.”

Do you know your mission? If not, the 3D Institute can help you clarify your mission and provide a framework that will help you take your athletic department to new levels of impact. Once that is in place you simply have to make mission.

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