Personality and Training - How would You Train Yourself?

Knowing how a player is at their deepest level is crucial for planning their pathway. As a parent, understanding your child may sound like a silly thing to suggest..

Tennis and Personality Traits

My very own Personality test

Let’s use a real case scenario. Me, coach Brett.

I completed a personality test via: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp

Here are my results
Extravert(16%) iNtuitive(44%) Feeling(12%) Perceiving(3%)
You have slight preference of Extraversion over Introversion (16%)
You have moderate preference of Intuition over Sensing (44%)
You have slight preference of Feeling over Thinking (12%)
You have marginal or no preference of Perceiving over Judging (3%)

Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving - Defined Below
ENFPs are both "idea"-people and "people"-people, who see everyone and everything as part of a cosmic whole. They want to both help and to be liked and admired by other people, on both an individual and a humanitarian level. This is rarely a problem for the ENFP, as they are outgoing and warm, and genuinely like people. Some ENFPs have a great deal of zany charm, which can ingratiate them to more stodgy types in spite of their unconventionality.

ENFPs often have strong, if sometimes surprising, values and viewpoints. They tend to try to use their social skills and contacts to persuade others gently (though enthusiastically) of the rightness of these views; this sometimes results in the ENFP neglecting their nearest and dearest while caught up their efforts to change the world.

ENFPs can be the warmest, kindest, and most sympathetic of mates; affectionate, demonstrative, and spontaneous. Many in relationships with an ENFP literally say, "They light up my life." But there is usually a trade-off: the partner must be willing to deal with the practical and financial aspects of the relationship, and the ENFP must be allowed the freedom to follow their latest path, whatever that entails.

For some ENFPs, relationships can be seriously tested by their short attention spans and emotional needs. They are easily intrigued and distracted by new friends and acquaintances, forgetting their older and more familiar emotional ties for long stretches at a time. And the less mature ENFP may need to feel they’re the constant center of attention, to confirm their image of themselves as a wonderful and fascinating person.

In the workplace, ENFPs are pleasant and friendly, and interact in a positive and creative manner with both their co-workers and the public. ENFPs are also a major asset in brainstorming sessions; follow-through on projects can be a problem, however. ENFPs do get distracted, especially if another interesting issue comes along. They also tend towards procrastination, and dislike performing small, uninteresting tasks. ENFPs are most productive when working in a group with a few Js to handle the details and the deadlines.
ENFPs are friendly folks. Most are really enjoyable people. Some of the most soft-hearted people are ENFPs.

ENFPs have what some call a "silly switch." They can be intellectual, serious, all business for a while, but whenever they get the chance, they flip that switch and become CAPTAIN WILDCHILD, the scourge of the swimming pool, ticklers par excellence. Sometimes they may even appear intoxicated when the "switch" is flipped.

One study has shown that ENFPs are significantly overrepresented in psychodrama. Most have a natural propensity for role-playing and acting.
ENFPs like to tell funny stories, especially about their friends. This penchant may be why many are attracted to journalism. I kid one of my ENFP friends that if I want the sixth fleet to know something, I'll just tell him.

ENFPs are global learners. Close enough is satisfactory to the ENFP, which may unnerve more precise thinking types, especially with such things as piano practice ("three quarter notes or four ... what's the difference?") Amazingly, some ENFPs are adept at exacting disciplines such as mathematics.

Friends are what life is about to ENFPs, more so even than the other NFs. They hold up their end of the relationship, sometimes being victimized by less caring individuals. ENFPs are energized by being around people. Some have real difficulty being alone, especially on a regular basis.

One ENFP colleague, a social worker, had such tremendous interpersonal skills that she put her interviewers at ease during her own job interview. She had the ability to make strangers feel like old friends.

ENFPs sometimes can be blindsided by their secondary Feeling function. Hasty decisions based on deeply felt values may boil over with unpredictable results. More than one ENFP has abruptly quit a job at such a moment.

Now for the fun part, if I was coaching myself, how could I approach the training week, training goals and the entire training process to suit more of my personality traits?

It appears that I excel within group environments, bouncing ideas with each other, sharing the training environment and exploring lots of new ideas and experiences with the team. This would lead me to think about group training more seriously. Strong connection with a team training environment that builds and pushes each other. What type of environment does this most resemble? Academy style training.

Some areas that I will need to dedicate more deliberate time and patience towards are delicate and precise training sessions. Things like, technical changes, tactical development and all of the ‘little’ things that are a little less ‘enjoyable’ on the surface. As a coach I would add these sessions gradually and in very strict time bound periods. Allow me to focus for shorter periods of time and not get too bogged down in the details too quickly.
We call them the 1%. I struggle with these, therefore I need to enter this world gradually and with clear guidelines - Note, I must not avoid these training sessions but learn, over time, to respect and appreciate them.

My natural state will be to flow naturally into challenges, think on the fly and create connections with people around me. How I like to be showing leadership within the group and know people enjoy coaching me, training with me and watching me from the sidelines.
Encouragement, respect and admiration are key things I look for and crave.

Some key coaching takeaways

  • Surround myself with a great team of players and an exciting training environment
  • Inspire with passion, great ideas and emotionally charged goals
  • Work deliberately on slower ‘less important and boring’ steps - Don’t hide that they are slow but highlight their impact and importance on match day. Gradually create habits that become ‘must have sessions’ - But, it is important to add these sessions slowly over time.
  • Develop training that creates strong tactically frameworks that allow me as a player to naturally bring as a part of my game, rather than force ‘set plays’ and enforce them when in matches or point situations.
  • Enjoying the process and feeling inspired by the journey as a team - We’re building this dream together and we are here for each other. Team directed ownership of the energy and passion moving forward

Personality traits shift only minimally over our life and the core traits that build us as people will hold true in most situations, across our entire lifespan. We can certainly develop more discipline in key areas that don’t ignite our core traits, however, they will be unlikely to drive us passionately forward in a natural state. There is no right or wrong when it comes to personality, however, there are ways to maximise growth based on these key driving factors. When there are ways to maximise growth, there are also ways to limit negative factors. When you get your environment and training process working completely at odds with the core nature of who you are, the battle becomes so challenging to inspire and motivate.

It may only require a few changes to how you approach the training process to inspire, motivate and ignite an entirely different person that is dedicated and committed towards constant forward momentum. Understanding personality at a deeper is a very valuable tool, and that’s why we have dedicated an entire module within our Ultimate Tennis Parent Course