Soccer symposium aims to marry ideals of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, coaching

mmccombs@islandpacket.comJanuary 14, 2014 

Hilton Head Island High School boys soccer coach Wayne Quinlan has been hosting a group of coaches every Monday morning over the past year and a half in his science classroom for a Fellowship of Christian Athletes coaches study group.

For some time, Quinlan has wanted to marry the influence of the FCA and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America to change the way kids are coached.

Quinlan's idea is coming to fruition June 21 and June 22 when the two organizations will partner to host a Christian-oriented soccer coaching symposium at USC Beaufort's Gateway Campus.

The symposium will offer coaching instruction, led by Ralph Polson, past-president of NSCAA and the men's coach at Wofford College, and will focus on the 3 Dimensional Coaching Series, a coaching method developed by Jeff Duke, a former assistant football coach at Florida State who lectures on coaching with Christian principles. Duke is the developer of the 3 Dimensional Series.

Duke, who will speak at the symposium, as well, teaches that after the first dimension -- Xs and Os -- coaches need to reach an athlete's psychological dimension and then his or her heart or spiritual dimension.

"Most coaches coach on the Xs and Os," Quinlan said. "Seventy percent won't reach their potential if we coach on just that first dimension."

Quinlan said he wanted to find a way to share these techniques and values with as many coaches as possible, even his rivals.

"You just can't coach kids they way you used to," Quinlan said. "If someone says you can, they're probably not a very good coach.

"This program is a perfect marriage between Xs and Os, techniques on the field and getting at the heart of the players off the field."

Quinlan said that he has worked with USCB athletics director Quin Monahan, as well as board members of the South Coastal FCA, the national FCA and the NSCAA to make the event happen, and he's hopeful he can pull in coaches from at least North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

"We're looking to influence the way kids are coached," he said. "This is potentially going to transform the way people in Beaufort County and the surrounding area coach their athletes."

Quinlan hopes to make the event an annual one, and he's hoping to open it up to coaches of other sports beyond soccer. Initially, his benchmark for a successful symposium was around 10 coaches.

Now he's aiming higher.

"I'd love to have to move to the big auditorium at USCB," Quinlan said. "Right now, we have a room that will hold 70. I'd love to see the room fill up."

The fee for the event is $75.

Details: Wayne Quinlan at


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