After twenty years working alongside sports organizations, I’ve noticed some key trends as I transitioned from playing on the field to now consulting athletes and teams. Collegiate teams place so much energy on managing personalities on and off the field, it’s important to remember, it’s more than just a game. Teams are constantly searching for ways to leverage their teams’ strengths while reducing the learning gaps. Meanwhile coaches are simultaneously recruiting and onboarding new athletes. It’s no secret, identifying new athletes’ and new coaches’ strengths and how to leverage them takes time. In certain cases, it could take an entire season just to understand that individual.
Fortunately, these teams are beginning to implement systems that drastically decrease the learning curve. It also helps them recruit ideal athletes without worrying about putting on the dog and pony show for recruits and their families only to realize they weren’t the right culture fit. Helping athletes increase their self-awareness and unlock their authentic selves have proven to be the key to unlocking their full potential on the field. Before we get too deep, let’s break down some personalities.
Terms such as anger, optimism, and fear can easily describe athletes and coaching staff alike, depending on the situation. In a greater context, the anger is towards problems, optimism towards people, and fear towards adhering to procedures. The reason one might be angry towards problems is due to a focus on results. Optimism towards people is due to personal fulfillment in the experience created by being amongst friends and strangers alike. Fearful towards adhering to procedures to uphold quality.
With the DISC, you’ll have a great knowledge of your staff and players by their observable behaviors. The D explains staff members or players that have a one-track mindset in terms of achieving results. The I is that individual who loves keeping the team energy high: the jokester, life of the party, or the one who never met a stranger. If tension is high, the I is that player or coach that’ll try to lighten the mood. The C requires all the data necessary in order to make a calculated decision. If we’re talking football, it could be ideal to have C at quarterback. Someone that’ll watch film all day, study the playbook as an attempt to reach perfection.
Let’s not forget about the S, an individual that could be difficult to read. They can typically be identified by their slower, stable pace. They have a preference for consistency and might be a little standoffish when new things are introduced into their environment. If you introduce a new play during a Friday walkthrough for a game Saturday. The S may not show it but they could be upset due to this last-minute addition to disturbing their process.
The discussion on how to help your team reach their full potential leveraging the DISC alone can go on for weeks. It is very crucial to remember that the DISC represents a snapshot in time. Experiences can heavily alter these observable behaviors. For example, a recruit may adapt their personality in a favorable way during the recruiting process to receive a scholarship. Once that recruit gets on campus they can be a huge headache. They may even be considered a “me guy”, a phrase coined by some coaches for that player that only cares about themself. Resulting in tons of hours wasted, dollars spent, and headache endured. Only for that recruit to end up “cut” from the team.
This example above is just one of many that explain the value of additional tools. In order to truly dive into the inner makings of an athlete, coach, and even a parent. The Personal Engagement Map is a tool that dives into the motivators and drivers of a person. When the DISC and Personal Engagement Map are combined with Attributes, the full picture of a person begins to form. The attributes allow you to dive into the cerebral cortex of the individual. You have the Advanced Insights when leveraging the DISC, Personal Engagement Map, and Attributes altogether.