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.
BEAL / ISFJ "Assistant"
concerned with others’ welfare; responsible, reserved, patient, practical, friendly, orderly, inquisitive regarding people, harm-avoiding; conscientious, thorough, loyal; service-oriented; gross motor skilled.
Behind many successful, high powered men and organizations, one of them finds the dependable, responsible, hard working ISFJ. ISFJs have a strong desire to be of service, to minister to individual needs, and to complete all work begun. To make things happen, they carefully follow handbooks and rules, trying to do everything themselves, tending to become overworked.
As a child, the ISFJ is quiet, obedient, loving, loyal, and hard-working, regularly trying to please the teacher. ISFJs do chores, are on time, and rarely behave improperly. They need routine, appreciation and gentle encouragement to venture out of their comfort zones, and recognition for consistency and diligence.
To ISFJs, work is good and must be finished before play can be enjoyed. They need to practice a skill alone before having the confidence to show it to others. They keep a few close friends, often for a lifetime, carrying a sense of history. They value tradition and loyalty.
The ISFJ is a devoted mate and family member, bringing up children to conform to society’s expectations. A diligent homemaker, the ISFJ is neat, orderly, thrifty, and practical, with a high sense of duty. Because ISFJs are so conscientious, they are apt to be judgmental toward nonconformists and those whose behavior disagrees with the standards of the ISFJ. They may be filled with resentment toward these people, while being attracted to them in order to help change them.
ISFJs are known to marry irresponsible persons with the goal of reforming them. ISFJs are then often taken for granted or caught up in worry. Neglecting to take time off to have fun, they can develop anxiety and physical ailments. They may need encouragement to delegate some of the load they are carrying. In the face of trials, they need to reach out and confide in others. Wishing to please everyone can be a heavy burden.
Center stage and positions of authority over others are not enjoyed or sought by ISFJs. (It is rare to find an ISFJ who’s been bold enough to become well known.) Rather, they are outstanding executing jobs involving repeated sequential procedures with tangible results. Though likely to take the first job offered them, they will do their best with it. They organize life around the people most important to them, usually family. Hopefully, they will not harbor intense feelings of being misunderstood or taken for granted, but will establish a positive lifestyle being a pillar of society, working loyally for the common welfare, and building a network of strong relationships.
ISFJ Sports Profile
ISFJs are Introverted left-brained SFs. They enjoy participating in sports, though they are not found frequently in professional circles. In athletics, they exercise great control over their gross motor movements. Their legs are their mainstay, their greatest source of strength. If ISFJs work at it, they can be leapers with excellent vertical jump. For example, the NBA’s Andrew Lang, Dale Davis, and P.J. Brown have been top notch shot blockers.Timid
ISFJs normally show timidity and caution in athletics, just as they do in life. As they progress athletically, these factors become less of a problem, though something always to be faced.
Three typological preferences contribute to ISFJs’ lack of aggressiveness: their Introversion is generally conserving energy, not expending it; their Feelings are seeking harmony, not contention; and their left-brained dominance (J) will not let them “jump in and ask questions later.”
Sports that cause high levels of fear are unwelcomed by ISFJs. Young ISFJs do not like to face the hard throwing pitcher on the mound. They may step into the batter’s box, but they are not likely to crowd the plate. Yet, if they are unafraid of the pitcher, they are capable of hitting the ball hard, using their body to generate power. Defensively in baseball, they are reluctant to charge the ball or stick their nose down to snag a hard grounder.
On the other hand, some ISFJs are found playing football. A few have even made it to the NFL, but the chances of them becoming household names are not high. The most likely position for NFL success is offensive tackle. One rare ISFJ with NFL stardom has been offensive tackle and All-Pro Richmond Webb. In 1997, the 6’6”, 300-pound Webb played in his seventh consecutive Pro Bowl. He was recognized as the prime protector on his Miami Dolphins team for superstar quarterback Dan Marino.
Basketball is a fun sport for ISFJs. They don’t have to worry about a hard ball smacking them in the face but can enjoy playing with a ball that is much less intimidating.Defensive Mentality
Basketball is a sport that especially demonstrates the defensive talents of ISFJs. They play defense properly, using their strong, SF legs to keep the person they’re guarding from the basket. Yet they need to work hard at developing lateral quickness. ISFJs are unselfish players, looking for ways to complement their teammates. They feel they can do this best by playing good defense. If ISFJs begin basketball at an early age and with good coaching, they can develop a finely-tuned offensive game.Bowling and Horseshoes
Though infrequently found in professional sports, two sports where an ISFJ has been the absolute best is in bowling and horseshoes. Walter Ray Williams Jr. has dominated off and on for over a decade on the Pro Bowlers Tour. Walter has captured the Player of the Year award four times – 1986, 1993, 1996, and 1997. In 1995, he was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame.
To physically direct a heavy ball down a long wooden lane with pinpoint accuracy requires excellent body control. Walter’s style is not right-brained graceful, but more mechanical, SFJ gross motor regulated. His mastery over the body’s large muscles has made him durable and bowling proficient.
Amazingly, Walter is also regarded as the best horseshoe player in the world, having won the World Horseshoe Pitching Championships six tmes. Williams estimates that he throws a bowling ball about 40,000 times a year and a horseshoe some 15,000 times. No Brain Type Grouping can endure these physical demands better than the SFs. ISFJ Walter Ray Williams Jr. has used his inborn big-muscle control to perfection.Type Tips
ISFJs need to be encouraged to be more aggressive in sports, particularly on the offensive end. They need to realize it is okay to make mistakes; blunders are part of the process of sports maturation. Even the greatest athletes have their periods of failure.
ISFJs should become familiar with the mental section of this book. Learning to relax and alleviate fear is crucial to their athletic success.
Like all dominant left-brained persons, ISFJs need to develop their spatial awareness.
If ISFJs can begin athletic activities at an early age, the more likely they are to succeed, not only by developing their motor skills but confidence and assertiveness as well.
Parents and coaches need to remember that ISFJs respond and learn best when they are treated with sensitivity, commended for their efforts, and encouraged to keep trying.
PROBABLE ISFJs IN SPORTS
Basketball: P.J. Brown, Dale Davis, Ervin Johnson, Nazr Mohammed, J.R. Henderson, John Coker, Alton Lister, Andrew Lang, Acie Earl
Football: Carson Palmer, Richmond Webb, Trezelle Jenkins
PROBABLE WELL KNOWN ISFJs:
Since ISFJs rarely seek the limelight, few are household names in America. Conversely, ISFJs’ opposite Type, the ENTP, normally seeks an audience – the reason so many are named in the ENTP profile. (Manny’s note: For most of the type descriptions, I left out the lists of non-athletes, with the exceptions of ISFJ and INFJ, which have just one combined between the two of them. I chose those two types to highlight the dearth of famous people of those types. In contrast, the ENTP list is several pages long, and there’s no way in hell I’m copying all of that down.)
Popular Career Choices:
Nursing, social service work, ministry, secretarial service, teaching (especially elementary level), counseling, child care, probation officer, veterinarian, physical therapy