The “IT” Factor
By Wes Simmons

I was fortunate to play for some great coaches over the span of my athletic career. My high school coach took over a program that had been mediocre at best for the previous two decades. Within six short years, he turned us into state champions. Two years later, he did it again. Similarly, my college coach inherited a program that didn’t have back-to-back winning seasons in over twenty years before he took over the program. After an initial 0-11 campaign, just four years later he went 15-0 on his way to securing the school’s first of six national championships. It was about so much more than just winning and losing though. You could say that these coaches had the “it” factor.

What do I mean by “it”? At the time, I didn’t have the language to describe “it” very succinctly. All I knew was that we had great relationships and a great unity of purpose. I knew that we worked really hard, and the motivation to do so was driven by our commitment to each other. We used words like family and brotherhood. Still, “it” was hard to put into words.

The first time I ever heard Dr. Jeff Duke share the 3D Coaching framework, it was an “Aha!” moment. Hearing about the 3Dimensions of coaching gave me a vocabulary to describe my experience of playing for some of these great coaches. I remember thinking, “That’s IT!” Though they would not have described themselves as such, they were 3D Coaches.

Since that time, I’ve been passionately sharing this simple framework with coaches so they can make the same kind of impact on their athletes that my coaches made on me, both on and off the field. The 3D language has empowered me to share.

A Common Language

One of the greatest long-term benefits of training your coaches in 3D is that it creates a common language that crosses any barriers that may exist between different sports. Language is important because language profoundly shapes culture. As human beings, it’s difficult to think beyond our own vocabulary. Our thoughts are hemmed in by the boundaries of our vocabulary.

Language is critical because all external behavior is derived from internal thoughts. If you want to cultivate a transformational culture in your athletic organization, an important first step is to establish a common language and then reinforce the language in daily conversations.

As leaders seeking to create a culture, it is our job to provide opportunities for the people we lead to grow. At the 3D Institute, we want to help. Check out our various 3D Coaching courses and resources that are designed to help coaches understand the 3D framework and give them the vocabulary to unlock new levels of creativity. We know this: as coaches take the 3D journey, the “Aha!” moment is created and the “it” factor becomes available to all who are willing to rethink their roles and reform their programs.

Get started on the 3D journey today by enrolling in our Course for Certification and/or College Credit!

If you have never taken the 3D journey, you can sample the 3D Coaching training for free at

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