We think personality has a lot to do with success, but actually it has little impact with success on the field of play. The reason why is that the most important variable for success is confidence. Since the brain is a muscle and we play like we train, we can teach and learn how to play well under pressure. It’s not an innate gene. For instance, two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Eli Manning has often been criticized by journalists and skeptics that stated he was “not a leader.”
Now, personality does play a role within teamwork, coach-athlete relationships, and especially communication. So, if you’re interested, herein lies one tool about personalities that can help improve success. The MBTI (Myers-Briggs) is a popular test for measuring personality and since we all have taken it, (we just don’t remember what we are) I have found one aspect of real usage.
One part of the MBTI relates to how we organize our outer world, or how we get control.
Are you a J or P?
J’s like organization and structure. Everything is centered on planning. While society dictates that we must be “on-time” and at “work,” our “world” is sometimes (or often) set for us. Thus, think about your day off, do you like to have it planned? However, J’s like to “moan.” If you ask a J a question, to adjust or modify technique, or something that is unplanned, you’ll hear it. J’s will begin to complain and moan about the things he/she is doing, again because a J has everything structured (planners).
How to interact with a J is simple: J’s simply need time to process information by THEMSELVES and need moan space. So, hit them and run. Hit them with the information and run before the moaning begins.
P’s enjoy freedom of space, absence of routines, and no structure. P’s prefer to have laid-back or no plans. Again think about your day off, do you like to have it “come as it may?” P’s love “new” plans or information. However, P’s will also ponder forever about making any choice because it is the last thing that they want to do (no structure).
How to interact with P’s is also simple: P’s need a push for closure. So, for P’s, offer them 2 choices and you’ll witness a big change in behavior.
The most important factor is that you know how you organize YOUR OUTER WORLD. Is it difficult for you to make a decision, or do you become upset when plans change? It really has nothing to do with likeableness, sense of humor, leadership, work-ethic, or talent. However, it has such real-world applicability that it is the one personality trait that can enhance all our relationships.
Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent book on Mental Toughness- Don’t Should on Your Kids: Build Their Mental Toughness