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.
BCAL / INFJ "Wordsmith"
potential gifted writer; imaginative, conscientious; has concern for the needs and development of others; empathetic; enjoys enriching inner life; methodical; quietly forceful; counselor; language skilled.
Though Introverted, here are truly “people persons,” ones so concerned with others that they may appear Extraverted. They have endless ideas, always considering possibilities, being happiest when these ideas are helping and bettering others.
As children, INFJs are often quiet and day dreamy, maybe even complacent. They want to understand and be understood – which helps them enjoy academic activities. They tend to be excellent students, high achievers, dependable and steady. Finding school rewarding, they quickly learn that their minds are a key to the world of learning and creativity.
INFJs are likely to be seen as mystical, so great are their vivid imaginations. They live to intuit, with visionary abilities with which few can completely relate. Their ideas are expertly expressed in writing and in verbal communication.
INFJs are usually organized and decisive, with a willingness to work long and hard. They tend to have clear goals, are skilled at working with people, and relate to others with empathetic and compassionate skill. They often feel compelled to render service to humanity. While carrying heavy inner burdens of their own, they can become overburdened with the world’s troubles. Because they can be easily hurt by others, they may retreat to a private, safer world.
So much of what is inside INFJs is hidden, not fully tapped for our appreciation. Their caring affection may not be outwardly shown, but their quiet strength is felt by others. They may not prefer to lead, but spread their ideas in a deliberate and quiet way.
The extreme end of this tendency is that INFJs have ideals and causes to fight for and may become rigid and demanding, with streaks of stubbornness. Their visions deal with human welfare. However rigid their projects begin, harmony is usually reached as the goals near.
The INFJ tends to choose occupations in counseling, clinical psychology, psychiatry, teaching, clergy, medicine, social work, architecture, and media specialties. INFJs seek harmony in every part of life. They make loving spouses and fiercely devoted parents, becoming deeply bonded to their children.
The four Introverted iNtuitive Types (INFP, INFJ, INTP, INTJ) are considered the least commonly found Types in America, comprising an estimated 2 percent each.
INFJ Sports ProfileStudious by nature, INFJs reflect deeply and creatively in sports. They use their heads with a grasp of the “big picture.” Methodically and painstakingly, they work to improve their skills.Intelligent, Hard working Athletes
INFJs are Introverted, left brain dominant NFs. Though not commonly found in professional sports, they are capable of athletic success. Like other NFs, they are able to develop body harmony, but must begin athletics at an early age if they hope to do the best for their Type. If they do not start young, INFJs can be awkward in their motor skills.
Very few INFJs have been successful in professional sports. The ones that seem to make it are found in pro basketball, and they are tall. Not relying on smooth body coordination or a shooting touch, they primarily have made it through hustle and attitude. Chris Dudley and Jim McIlvane are two recent NBA INFJs.
Smaller INFJs who have devoted their lives to athletic endeavors can become successful in their chosen sports. The higher in competition they go, however, the more difficult it will be to excel against the competition. Yet INFJs are fortunate to have great minds for numerous vocations in the event their pro sports dreams don’t pan out.
Though INFJs and INFPs are exceptionally close in their typological letters, they are far removed in their athletic movements. The right-brained INFPs are born with more fluid athletic skills. Consider INFP Shawn Bradley, the 7’6” NBA basketball player. His father said:
He was always coordinated despite being tall. When he was 4 years old, we gave him a bike and he was riding it around after about an hour.
In junior high, Bradley played football – quarterback and receiver. In high school he played baseball – a .400 hitter – and golf. These were in addition to basketball!
Originally Posted by The L.A. Times
Not all INFPs are as gifted as Shawn Bradley. If, like Shawn, they began sports at an early age, however, they would perform similarly. Neither would all INFJs have as much difficulty in developing their skills as would tall INFJs. (Exceptionally tall persons reveal the Brain Type differences in motor skills most noticeably.) I have played sports against INFJs who had excellent motor coordination. They started sports at an early age.
No person of any Brain Type should ever give up on his or her athletic dreams. Yet it is good to know beforehand the potential difficulties that one’s inborn design will experience along the way. This ensures a wise approach to the decision of going forward or not, as you realistically face the obstacles. This illustration can also teach differences in Types, and how some must work harder and smarter to achieve success.
The NBA’s Chris Dudley is another tall INFJ. Through hard work, good defense and INFJ intelligence (a Yale graduate), Dudley has also achieved basketball success. Unfortunately, he’s been recognized as the NBA’s worst free throw shooter. He once missed 17 in a row in an NBA game. Near the end of the 1992 NBA season, shooting a horrific 32% from the line, Dudley answered some of his critics. To insure victory at the end of the game, opposing coach Don Nelson had his Golden State Warriors foul Chris intentionally. Dudley responded by making all eight of his free throws!
Chris talked about his charity stripe tosses:
Originally Posted by Chris Dudley
INFJs, like all 8 dominant left-hemisphere Brain Types, will tend to get more mechanical in their motor movements under pressure. Reading the mental section in this book should help them to learn to relax more. As a note of encouragement to all INFJs, Chris Dudley’s shot has gotten progressively better over the years. Since he didn’t develop his motor movements in youth the way most athletes do, body synchronization has not come easily – especially considering his nearly 7-foot frame.
I played a pickup basketball game recently and was completely outplayed by an INFJ my size (6’3”). His shot was sound and deadly and his defense was exceptional. If INFJs start young enough and work hard at their sport, they can be very good athletes.I desire to research INFJs more in the future. Because they do not have the high sports profile of many other Types, I have more to learn regarding their abilities in the various sports.ConclusionINFJs should begin developing motor skills as soon as possible. They should play the sports most fun for them to insure a continuation and commitment to exercise.Type Tips
Learning to control their emotions and anxiety in competition is essential for success.
As Introverts, INFJs often lack the sports energy of the Extraverted Types. In the more active sports, it is important that INFJs place an emphasis on energetic play.
PROBABLE INFJs IN SPORTS: Basketball: Chris Dudley, Jim McIlvane
PROBABLE WELL KNOWN INFJs: Lamar Hunt
Popular Career Choices
Psychology, counseling, therapy, ministry, religious educator, scientific research, medicine, journalism, writing and editing, teacher