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MOTM Aug 2010
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.

FCAR / ENFP "Motivator"
highly energetic; enthusiastic, charming, imaginative, improvisational; sees possibilities; spontaneous; easily bored with repetition; enjoys solving people’s problems; catalyst, marketer, language skilled.

The ENFP is an initiator of new ideas and projects. Every day new possibilities come into view and are acted upon. These new enterprises are not undertaken alone. The ENFP recruits others, with persuasive enthusiasm, to embark on the newest venture. A highly active imagination drives the ENFP to bounce from one activity to the next, creating even more energy and bringing passengers along. There is never a dull moment. Could the Pied Piper have been an ENFP?
With a high dose of Extraversion, the ENFP feels concern for others and the need to help and affirm them. In doing so, the ENFP needs affirmation on a constant basis. Going to great lengths to please and gain approval, the ENFP never slows down until exhaustion hits. This hyperactivity makes the ENFP fun to live with, yet unpredictable to the point of sometimes frustrating others.
ENFPs are dynamic, highly skilled, and usually can do anything they set their minds to. They can be marvelous musicians and vocalists. Some ENFPs include: Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Reba McEntire, Barbara Mandrell, Kenny Rogers, Amy Grant, and Ricky Skaggs. If they have been in a successful occupation, they may have been in numerous others.
As children, ENFPs are delightful and entertaining, but very sensitive to criticism. They can charm their way out of most difficulties which they get into when being impulsive, wanting to do things their own way and not fitting neatly into structured schedules. Self expression is of the utmost concern their whole lives. One might be chosen for leadership due to recognition of the ENFP's persuasive powers and energetic ideas. They enjoy reading and exploring possibilities, deriving great satisfaction from living in the future.
ENFPs are value oriented, distracted at work or school by disharmony, and often late because of a vague awareness of time. They are social, charismatic, generously giving of themselves and their affection to all around them. They idealize relationships. Perceiving the world through possibilities, the ENFP explores and implements one idea after another, one experience after another, improvising and creating. Work is play and needs to be unstructured with constant interaction. They can spend hours researching subjects that interest them. The next day, however, the interest may have flown, replaced with new pursuits and new stimuli.
ENFPs can reach overload, getting too many projects going and being torn in too many directions. They need to establish priorities, to face reality and deal with it instead of running when things get routine or threatening. Balance is needed. If they have a good relationship, they should accept its imperfections and stay with it. The ENFP helps make the world go around for others, "decorating" home, work and schools with a warm, colorful touch.
As born cheerleaders, ENFPs use their unfettered enthusiasm to prompt others to success. As a reserve player on the great Boston Celtic teams of the 1980s, M.L. Carr, ENFP, was known for his towel-waving activities to inspire his teammates and crowd. And last, ENFPs' laughter is often distinctive and infectious.

ENFP Sports Profile

Energetic Acrobats

ENFPs participate in athletics with a high degree of energy. They are often like volcanoes ready to erupt, not emotionally as much as phyiscally. They find it hard, however, to separate their emotions from sports, which generally provides them additional impetus.
ENFPs are among the best at figure skating, diving, and gymnastics. Their right-brained dominance provides them with grace, flow, and spontaneity. INtuition leads tremendous creativity to their routines, and Extraversion fuels tremendous energy. Performing before a world wide audience, such as the Olympic Games, creates such an adrenaline rush that ENFPs usually forget the difficulty of their routines, and attempt them with uncharacteristic boldness. They tend to go outside themselves, utilizing abilities they never knew they had.
All-Star David Robinson impacted the NBA with his speed and gymnastic abilities, not merely height and strength. In 1990, All Star Charles Barkley said of the ENFP newcomer:
Charles Barkley said:
He's going to be a monster. He can do it all: Play defense, shoot, rebound and block shots. Plus, he's the fastest big man I've ever played against.
ENFPs have been among the top track and field athletes. ENFP Leroy Burrell set the 100-meter dash world record in 1991. In 1994, Burrell again lowered the world mark, at 9.85 seconds. Gail Devers, ENFP, won the 100 meter dash in both the '92 and '96 Summer Olympic Games. Mike Powell broke Bob Beamon's 23-year-old long jump record in 1991, soaring over 29 feet.

High Pain Threshold

There is no Brain Type with a higher threshold for pain than the ENFP. Typologically, the least developed function of ENFPs is their Introverted Sensing (Manny's Note: Niednagel is referencing the basic four-function model, Ne-Fi-Te-Si, not John Beebe's shadow function model - for more information please refer to my http://personalitycafe.com/articles/8611-function-order-models-guide.html), the preference most in touch with physical pain. When ENFPs are in athletic competition, they kick their dominant iNtuitive function into high gear. They focus on the even with all their mental and physical energies. Discomfort in the process is given little regard. I have witnessed this in ENFPs many, many times. It is incredible to me how oblivious they can become to the physical travails in the heat of competition.

Hard Workers

Extraverted NFs are known for their work ethic in athletics, particularly those who learned self discipline as youngsters. In 1990, San Francisco conditioning coach, Jerry Attaway, spoke on why the 49er stars sustained fewer injuries than most other NFL teams.
Sports Illustrated said:
. . . he points to the training habits of Jerry Rice and Roger Craig, who work out like a couple of Evander Holyfields in the off season . . .
How fitting to have three ENFPs compared with one another.

Visualizers

EN_Ps (ENFP and ENTP) are highly adept at visualizing. Their dominant and spatial right-brained iNtuition preference is used to imagine events in their lives, including athletics. By visualizing, ENFPs build confidence, perfect technique, and activate regions of the brain that are important for athletic success.
It was reported that ENFP Olympic diver and gold medalist Greg Louganis:
. . . 'mind scripted' each dive an estimated forty times, sometimes imagining it in real time, sometimes going through it in slow motion, to check out how different parts of his body behaved and felt at different moments.
Other ENFPs are mentioned in this book who depend upon visualization techniques to achieve top performance.

Type Tips

Hobby and recreational pursuits for ENFPs include juggling. It's difficult to find a Type that surpass the juggling proficiencies of ENFPs.
ENFPs must remember to use their mental as well as athletic talents in certain kinds of competition. Though ENFPs perform best by not over analyzing in sports that have preset routines, it is sometimes necessary for them to Introvert and analyze in other key situations. As point guards in basketball, they must decipher if a pass is safe to make, or in baseball, whether to stretch a base hit when behind by one run.
ENFPs need to learn to perform under control, restraining their superman instincts to jump over buildings in a single bound. Their overall performances will improve when they learn to properly regulate their acrobatic moves and energy.
Like other iNtuitives, ENFPs will be well served by developing their motor skills at an early age. In summary, ENFPs can be superb athletes.

Popular Career Choices:
Sales, public relations, entrepreneur, human services, health related professions, music, acting and entertaining, play and screen writing, journalism, advertising, ministry, counseling, psychology (note the great latitude in career choices)
 

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Thanks Manny, this is a brilliant article.

I need to buy this book, I am very pro player but cant perform in public matches.

I hope I overcome this and become a star. :proud:
 

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High Pain Threshold

There is no Brain Type with a higher threshold for pain than the ENFP. Typologically, the least developed function of ENFPs is their Introverted Sensing (Manny's Note: Niednagel is referencing the basic four-function model, Ne-Fi-Te-Si, not John Beebe's shadow function model - for more information please refer to my http://personalitycafe.com/articles/8611-function-order-models-guide.html), the preference most in touch with physical pain. When ENFPs are in athletic competition, they kick their dominant iNtuitive function into high gear. They focus on the even with all their mental and physical energies. Discomfort in the process is given little regard. I have witnessed this in ENFPs many, many times. It is incredible to me how oblivious they can become to the physical travails in the heat of competition.


Amazing! I played various sports competitively, and my teammates would often comment on the look in my eye. Kinda like a replicant that felt nothing but had one thing on its mind (crushing my opponent, ofc). *blush*

I am, sadly, covered in tiny scrapes and bruises much of the time. I bump into things and knew I had a high tolerance for pain, but never made connections between that and cognitive functions/type. Fascinating.​
 

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I'd like to add one interesting sports-related quirk I have experienced that may be related to the ENFP cognition.

I am a very avid volleyball player. The best tournament I ever played took place after getting only 30 minutes of sleep the night before. One year of extensive college volleyball training later, I have never played as well as I did when totally deprived of sleep.

I don't know how this might be related to MBTI at all, but I was hoping maybe an expert would be able to identify some kind of connection.
 

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I played College Football at the Division 1 level and my coaches described me as a mixed bag player to coach. My position coach described teaching me minute details of my role as really frustrating because I would get impulsive and creative mid-play. He also said he never once had to worry about my work ethic because I was always jumping around and yelling and very self-motivated. Reading this in hindsight kind of makes me laugh because a lot of this is similar to listening to my coaches describe me.
 

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This article is amazing. I am an ENFP who plays competitive soccer. I am an aspiring ENFP athlete and one day hope to make my dream come true. I will surely buy this book.
 

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It's difficult to find a Type that surpass the juggling proficiencies of ENFPs.
Bwahahah!

I can totally relate to the forgetting the pain thing, I remember once in elementary school I was in this race thing and on the final stretch we had the rest of the school that didn't enter on the sidelines and someone was like 30 feet ahead of me, and the cheering from the crowd kicked in and all the pain went away and I was able to run twice as fast and passed him. Cheering from crowds always gives me energy and makes me play better in events like that. I never understand when people say they don't want to play in front of a crowd =p
 

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I know this post is like 6 years old but I wanted to say a "sport" that I have found perfect for any athletic ENFP is capoeira. The game/dance/mating ritual/martial art from Africa, that was developed and popularized in Brazil to fight against oppression from the Portuguese slave trade. The style I play is Capoeira Angola for personal and historical reasons, but there are a few different styles. The games can be super acrobatic, filled with fancy handstand kicks and flips, or low to the ground where you watch your opponents every footstep in a closet sized space. It really depends on the mood of the game, who is playing, or the spontaneous moment. Besides a few basic movements, kicks, and minor details (how to play the instruments or how to exit and enter the game) it's all improvisational! Which gives you room to put your own personal style to your game (a real good exercise for that NE). There are no rules on how to move exactly and it completely depends on the person and any instructor who really limits your movement isn't truly teaching you this holistic art form. Which in every way is ENFP friendly. Great community, music and singing (in another language at that) and crazy unorthodox martial arts and dance for you to do whatever you want.
I can't post videos because I just got on the website but literally just go to youtube and watch some Capoeira Angola or Capoeira muzenza. Really awesome stuff!
 
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Visualizers

EN_Ps (ENFP and ENTP) are highly adept at visualizing. Their dominant and spatial right-brained iNtuition preference is used to imagine events in their lives, including athletics. By visualizing, ENFPs build confidence, perfect technique, and activate regions of the brain that are important for athletic success.
It was reported that ENFP Olympic diver and gold medalist Greg Louganis:
Other ENFPs are mentioned in this book who depend upon visualization techniques to achieve top performance.​

Hey, that guy is actually an ENFP, so there may be something about it.​
 

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Great article...

Energetic Acrobats
ENFPs participate in athletics with a high degree of energy. They are often like volcanoes ready to erupt, not emotionally as much as phyiscally. They find it hard, however, to separate their emotions from sports, which generally provides them additional impetus.
ENFPs are among the best at figure skating, diving, and gymnastics. Their right-brained dominance provides them with grace, flow, and spontaneity. INtuition leads tremendous creativity to their routines, and Extraversion fuels tremendous energy. Performing before a world wide audience, such as the Olympic Games, creates such an adrenaline rush that ENFPs usually forget the difficulty of their routines, and attempt them with uncharacteristic boldness. They tend to go outside themselves, utilizing abilities they never knew they had.
All-Star David Robinson impacted the NBA with his speed and gymnastic abilities, not merely height and strength. In 1990, All Star Charles Barkley said of the ENFP newcomer:

ENFPs have been among the top track and field athletes. ENFP Leroy Burrell set the 100-meter dash world record in 1991. In 1994, Burrell again lowered the world mark, at 9.85 seconds. Gail Devers, ENFP, won the 100 meter dash in both the '92 and '96 Summer Olympic Games. Mike Powell broke Bob Beamon's 23-year-old long jump record in 1991, soaring over 29 feet.
I played competitive ice hockey as when I was younger. I was never that great of a stickhandler. I had a decent shot. I was an okay passer. I was always a very good skater. I have always had very good balance. While I don't play ice hockey anymore, I do hike/explore and in the process of exploring occasionally free climb rock structures. It requires a lot of balance and focus.

High Pain Threshold

There is no Brain Type with a higher threshold for pain than the ENFP. Typologically, the least developed function of ENFPs is their Introverted Sensing (Manny's Note: Niednagel is referencing the basic four-function model, Ne-Fi-Te-Si, not John Beebe's shadow function model - for more information please refer to my http://personalitycafe.com/articles/8611-function-order-models-guide.html), the preference most in touch with physical pain. When ENFPs are in athletic competition, they kick their dominant iNtuitive function into high gear. They focus on the even with all their mental and physical energies. Discomfort in the process is given little regard. I have witnessed this in ENFPs many, many times. It is incredible to me how oblivious they can become to the physical travails in the heat of competition.
True this...I gave it a very brief go after cracking three ribs playing ice hockey. A 3 mile round trip hike up a very steep 900 foot hill with one good foot while I was sick. The day after this I hiked 7 miles round trip in the same physical condition.

Hard Workers

Extraverted NFs are known for their work ethic in athletics, particularly those who learned self discipline as youngsters. In 1990, San Francisco conditioning coach, Jerry Attaway, spoke on why the 49er stars sustained fewer injuries than most other NFL teams.

How fitting to have three ENFPs compared with one another.
I spent a lot of my youth playing a variety of sports. You name the sport or physical activity I did. I never got too focused on one thing. Before I pushed away the fluff and really got into the nuts and bolts of Jungian systems, I thought I was an ISTP. Looking back I really didn't get "intellectual" and focused on school until my early 20s when my tertiary Te really started to show up more often.

Visualizers
EN_Ps (ENFP and ENTP) are highly adept at visualizing. Their dominant and spatial right-brained iNtuition preference is used to imagine events in their lives, including athletics. By visualizing, ENFPs build confidence, perfect technique, and activate regions of the brain that are important for athletic success.
It was reported that ENFP Olympic diver and gold medalist Greg Louganis:
Other ENFPs are mentioned in this book who depend upon visualization techniques to achieve top performance.
Before competitive games I used to meditate. It would terrify teammates early in the season before they got used to my routine because I would go zen and then in the first few shifts beat the hell out of people. :laughing: Before I free climb or hike a difficult section of trail I like to take a moment to zero in.
 
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