This type description comes from Your Key to Sports Success (12th Edition, 2006) by Jonathan Niednagel. An updated edition is expected to be released later this year, and if you would like to know more about Jonathan Niednagel's Brain Typing system you can purchase the book from his web site, BrainTypes.com - Understanding for the new millenium.
The ESFP is often the most outgoing and entertaining person in a crowd. He or she loves life and people, seeking attention and fun in every situation that arises. ESFPs are energetic, gregarious, sociable, charming and generous. Think of Elvis Presley, Magic Johnson, Chi Chi Rodriguez, and Dolly Parton and you will picture the ESFP’s action packed, colorful persona.
FEAR / ESFP "Entertainer"
performs to entertain others; enjoys creating party-like atmosphere; spender—not a saver; expressive; down-to-earth; radiates warmth and optimism; impulsive, enjoys promoting and business; rhythmical and athletic; gross motor skilled.
ESFPs must have jobs relating to people. Being genuinely empathetic, they actively care about the welfare of others. ESFPs have a flair for style, dressing like “a million” whether they have it or not. They nonetheless often show a good deal of common sense, dealing well with the practical, immediate facts of life.
“Look at me” is the heart’s cry of the ESFP. ESFPs thrive on being in front of others, displaying their showmanship. They are light hearted, romantic and optimistic. They need to feel the love and care of others more than most Types. Their generosity is hard to equal. They see gifts as symbols of love and affection.
ESFPs want their cake now and often forget to plan for later. They may need to plan for the future with strategy for saving and conserving. They can become anxious when tough times hit, fighting despondency when their careless living lands them in less than ideal circumstances. ESFPs must beware of compulsive behavior when experiencing anxiety. Controlling their weight is one area that can be a problem.
ESFPs are gross motor dominant; they rely mostly on their big muscle movements (versus fine motor). This translates to swaying their bodies to music (Elvis mastered this!), hugging friends, and exaggerating big muscle movements in sports.
ESFPs are fun to have as parents, providing a circus-like atmosphere and lifestyle. Their inconsistency, however, can be confusing to children. ESFP children live life with the same abandon as adults this quality does not work well in school, where discipline is needed. ESFPs learn best by using their senses and by doing. The parent can help by being the “J” function for these lively performers. When their “F” function, or strong personal values, are engaged in school pursuits, ESFP children can achieve with honors.
ESFP children may be seen as hyperactive, messing up the house, being loud, always wanting to do one more thing. They love surprises and they love the limelight, the excitement of performing. Watch them, applaud them, and let them entertain you with their unique Brain Type.
ESFP Sports Profile
ESFPs are Extraverted, right-brained SFs and make some of the best athletes. Complementing their superior spatial skills, ESFPs master the big muscles of the body with speed, balance, rhythm, and timing. ESFPs generally do not have the patience or discipline to learn a sport the introspective way Introverted SPs do (ISTP and ISFP). It is helpful for them to take the time to learn the proper mechanics and techniques for their sport.
ESFPs are, and can be, among the best in the world at their chosen sport. Muhammad Ali, Walter Payton, Magic Johnson, Tony Gwynn, Lee Trevino, Florence Griffith Joyner, Carl Lewis, and Marion Jones have proven this.Outstanding, Entertaining Athletes
ESFPs bring showmanship to the game as no one else can. If you want to sell tickets or draw large crowds, have an ESFP perform. The NBA’s Dennis Rodman has probably stretched the ESFP’s persona and behavior to its near limits. Few behave as has Rodman. (As mentioned repeatedly, the pronouncement of the Type traits will also be affected by upbringing and current environment.) ESFPs, genetically, have a penchant for performing with pizzazz. Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton have shown this on stage. ESFPs often play their sport as if they were on stage. They want to be noticed, and with flair.
Five years into his professional NBA career, Magic Johnson said:
Originally Posted by Magic Johnson
ESFPs are born to play with spontaneity and style. They know of no other way. Lee Trevino, the incessant talking and clowning golfer known as the Merry Mex, was asked if he planned on changing his style when joining the Senior Tour:
Originally Posted by Lee Trevino
Suffice it to say, most ESFPs carry their personality into their performances.
Say What They Feel
ESFPs tend to share their feelings sometimes without a lot of thought first. This “FP” trait of ESFPs is especially perceptible to Thinking, left-brained persons. Boston Celtic coach, ESTJ Chris Ford, said of Charles Barkley, in 1991:
Originally Posted by Chris Ford
ESFPs are also playful and fun-loving.
Originally Posted by Charles Barkley
Basketball player Bo Kimble has demonstrated the inherent, persuasive, ESFP communication style. Paul Westhead, Loyola Marymout coach of the 1990 NCAA tournament team, on why he left ESFP Kimble in the game after getting four fouls in the first half:
Originally Posted by Paul Westhead
Not all ESFPs have the brashness of Charles Barkley. Some have much different values (or Feelings) and demonstrate a contrasting persona. Tony Gwynn, all-star outfielder, has been known for loving his family, honoring others, politeness, and being extraordinarily generous with his time.Caring, Sensitive, Charitable
Elvis Presley was known for his spontaneous generosity. His heart would often go out to the less fortunate, even to the point of buying them a new car on the spot.
When NBA super-star, Magic Johnson, announced his retirement in 1991, Los Angeles Mayor, Tom Bradley, commented:
Originally Posted by Tom Bradley
Despite Charles Barkley’s Extraverted, oft pert capricious behavior, he possesses the caring side of his Brain Type as well. Derek Smith, former teammate of Barkley’s in Philadelphia, said:
Originally Posted by Derek Smith
Notice the ESFP athletes listed in this section and you will see a number of them who magnify the ESFP’s normal behavior. Others are more reserved. Do not forget, upbringing and current environment alter external behavior and one’s persona. What they don’t influence is Brain Type and genetically predisposed cerebral activity.
ESFPs perform best by being aggressive and reacting to whatever comes their way. When they are forced to slow down and do a lot of thinking, their performances suffer. They must stay loose, not deviating too much from their normal free flowing style of play.Type Tips
ESFPs need to practice. No Type is more prone to following impulses and delighting in the moment. Thus, ESFPs get bored easily. Parents and coaches need to help ESFPs focus on their short-term goals. Long term goals often seem like an eternity to ESFPs. They also llike perks or rewards for goals accomplished, so try to help them have fun along the way.
When ESFPs lose interest in or don’t feel good about their sport, for whatever reason, their attitudes go south in a hurry. Help them see the “big picture” and keep a good attitude. Things could easily turn around.
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