Measurement and sports are eternal BFFs. Without a measurement, we would not know winners, losers, competitors, etc. There would be no direction for the sport to grow because there would be no numbers. Sports has historically measured in the form of statistics. In the professional ranks, there are scores of statisticians focused on player performance down to the most minuscule unit. Bottom-line, metrics give athletes an edge.
Personality Type and Student Athletes
Measuring performance can give a team an advantage as it shapes their game strategy.
Now let’s look at the other side of the field and/or court – do teams look at their opponents’ metrics in the same way? As many metrics as teams can find out about their opponents, they gather it. Teams want to better understand an opponents' tendencies and capabilities. Entire strategies are built on metrics gathered. Given the high stakes of sporting events, wouldn’t we want the games to hinge on more numbers than hunches? Even a hunch has some level of metrics in mind.
The Big “What If” (sort of)
What if we could offer up a new metric to sports teams that would give them the advantage? What if that new metric is connected to Personality Type? Carl Jung just sent a few rays of sunshine my direction for suggesting this very concept! Yes Personality Type in sports is exactly what I'm suggesting. In my opinion it is not used enough – but it is used.
When I went through the credentialing process to administer Level B psychological assessments I met a wonderful lady who went by the name of “Mo” (short for “Maurine”). Mo had the privilege of working for the New York Jets of the National Football League. Mo’s job was to focus on Player Development – those other factors that helped professional football players succeed on and off the field. I know I talked Mo’s head off during that time because I believed in the marriage of sports and psychological assessments. Her message to me then was that there was no widespread strategy across the league to implement and use psychological assessments. I always wondered, what if there was? What if every single NFL player had the fortune to not only know their own personality type, but to understand how that impacts their team and their opponents. That’s the BIG What If!
Younger Athletes and Personality Type
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) can be taken as young as 14 years old. Per the Theory of Personality as established by Carl Jung, personality is set by the time a human being is 14 years old. So, can an old dog learn new tricks? Yes! The MBTI® demonstrates a person’s natural personality preferences – it doesn’t mean you can’t learn to act outside of those natural preferences. Personality type is informative to the person as they seek to better understand themselves. Socrates called this a long time ago
So why haven’t youth athletes - high school age adopted the usage of personality type in sports? I’m still asking that question. As a former gymnast, I would have loved to understand my personality type. Being a teen athlete is a confusing time. Teen athletes are moving in a different path than the norm and are placed in a position of leadership (whether they like it nor not). I’ve seen some youth athletes “crack” under pressure because life came at them too fast.
I believe that a youth athlete who knows their personality type will take better control of their rise athletically and academically
What’s the Outcome?
You get a better controlled athlete as they continue to unlock who they are to themselves
You get an athlete that is learning to apply critical thinking to their sport
You get an athlete that starts to understand the "why" around them - placing them in a more intelligent position to respond to whatever life throws at them
If your sports team elects to all be assessed and share their personality type you will be blown away at the change. By knowing more about each other, now the team makes and communicates more effectively and is in a better position to win. This is all about winning, right? You get into sports and the expectation is the all-important “W”. I’m suggesting that when you add psychological metrics to the athlete/team development, you will reshape what a win really means. If we’re preparing and sending youth athletes into the world more knowledgeable about themselves, we begin to raise levels of success in all of our communities. When the sports role models are better informed, higher thinking people – look out communities everywhere – there’s more wins for everyone in our future.
Let's Take Control
I don’t care if you’re a parent, coach, or the actual athlete – there’s no sense in waiting for a personal invitation to take the MBTI®. It’s easily available to take from professionals like me who are credentialed and certified to administer, interpret, and evaluate the results. Let today be the last day you wait on someone to help you get your edge (for yourself or your team). Winners in sports take control – to exhibit winning behavior you must do winner things – GET ASSESSED, DON’T’ WAIT ANY LONGER.
I'll Share - My Personal Experience
While I’m “drJ” to many, I’m mom to one daughter. I’ve written about her in many ways through my experiences as a working single mom, raising a champion, etc. I’ve even written a book about my experiences of supporting her rise in basketball and all that it took (#TheRealMVP). The one area I wish my book would have touched on was getting personality type, career interests, etc. assessed. She’s now 16years old and there are several assessments available to her that I believe can give her that edge.
I had my daughter take the MBTI® shortly after she turned 14. I treated her like a client, emailing her the link to the assessment and setting up reminders. Once she took the assessment, I reviewed it and gave her a consultation session. What I loved about the session - I was able to share my type with her as I discussed her own results. She immediately had the “a-ha” moments that helped to explain each of us better in her mind. The knowledge of her type offered up new conversations about personality differences and how we overcome obstacles given our personality types "under one roof". I loved having this level of conversation with my 15-year-old – it was matured and forward-thinking.
As a professional I saw a difference in her thinking and understanding. As mom, I loved watching her brain blossom as she learned more than she bargained for. Every parent I meet I share my personal story because it’s a difference-maker at home, school, and planning for the future. When you give a student in secondary education knowledge about who they are – clear knowledge, they are better able to see themselves in the future making a difference. Let’s not allow life to happen to our students, let’s give them a chance to happen to life!
Thibeaux Research - the psychometrics and research arm of The Thibeaux Company is ready for you. You can click on Research above to learn more or click here: www.ThibeauxResearch.com. I’ve been blessed to assemble great minds to join me in this crusade to socialize and better connect psychological assessments to sports.