Personality Cafe banner

Your Key to Sports Success: INTP Description

42411 Views 8 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  fl4sh
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, - Understanding for the new millenium.

BCIR / INTP "Logician"
master of conceptual logic; problem-solver; scientific—desires understanding of universe; designs logical models; seeks precision; introspective; adaptable; tends to excel in theoretical, philosophical subjects; logical abstraction skilled.

INTPs are usually precocious children, synthetically logical and reserved. They may be solemn and independent, with a passion for asking why or seeking to find out why? all by themselves. They are obedient in matters to which they are indifferent, provided they think the rules are fair. They think physical punishment is violating to their dignity.
Hands-off parenting that allows constructive experimental behavior can be productive with INTPs. Ridicule and sarcasm concerning their abilities will be devastating and will promote their ready tendency for self doubt. Others may ridicule them for their ability to be lost in thought. They may use personal isolation as a defense mechanism. INTPs often feel they are very different from others until they find more commonality in a college setting.
INTPs may appear to be somewhat socially slow, needing to work hard to develop interpersonal skills. They are original thinkers, enjoying logical reasoning for its own sake. Having a passion for questions that being “What would happen if . . . ,” they are highly effective in organizing themselves to research and plan. As premier problem-solvers, any project, big or small, presents itself as a stimulating challenge. INTPs are sought after for their creative ideas and theories.
INTPs, as we can see, live in the creative world of concepts and ideas, placing greater value on the principles behind the facts than on the facts themselves. Even existence can be an abstract to INTPs. They have been known to pursue the impossible theory, the grand idea, to the disregard of reality or those closest to them. They make excellent writers, artists, computer programmers, scientists, professors, philosophers, and mathematicians. Because of their extremely competent cerebral abilities, INTPs are most often attracted to academic pursuits (INTPs are generally valedictorians, especially at the college level), and less to athletic activities, unless motivated by parents, siblings, peers and so forth.
INTPs are rare and complicated individuals indeed. Relating to them can be an intellectual challenge. If you can persuade INTPs to simplify their thought processes and slowly unweave their complicated conclusions so that you can follow their intricate logic, the trip will be quite worthwhile. They seek precision, you see, qualifying to the nth degree what they are expressing. INTPs with a handle on truth can be persuasive geniuses. As teachers, they need to take every care to talk on the student’s level. They make supportive parents, wanting children to develop their own abilities, preferring not to push or control. It’s estimated that INTPs approximate 1-2 percent of the American population.
INTP Albert Einstein spoke little prior to the age of three. His family even believed him to be retarded at a stage in childhood. His mother once wrote to a friend:
I don’t know what we are going to do with Albert, he doesn’t seem to learn very much.
Yet Einstein was not unusual for a young INTP, who finds the rigorous discipline of Sensing reality in lower education to be boring and militaristic. His precocious mind was not interested in rote learning.
Einstein never respected those who automatically submitted to the establishment; he valued those who were independent thinkers. He considered it stupid to learn things by heart. Remembering matters was a process of understanding why and how things worked or were. Just to know was not enough; he had to understand. This thinking is common for INTPs.
Einstein, like other INTPs, was best designed for unscrambling the unknown complexities of this world and universe. INTPs normally do not get exposed to these complexities until college and beyond. When they do, they are unparalleled in problem solving, relying upon conceptual logic.
Honors and recognition had no meaning for Einstein, though he received many.
Albert Einstein said:
The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.

INTP Sports Profile

American Lori Norwood, the 1989 women’s world pentathlon champion, depicts the INTP. (Pentathlon events include swimming, running, riding, fencing, and shooting.) Let’s look at Norwood to better understand some aspects of the INTP Brain Type.

Generally Reserved
Coach Janusz Peciak told Sports Illustrated:
Janusz Peciak said:
Lori is very shy. She never acts like she’s a big star. It doesn’t matter whether she’s the world champion or in last place, she has the same personality. I really like that about her. She’s a very nice person.
Norwood’s Introversion not only gives her personality a “shy” aura, but allows her to reflect deeply. One interest of hers is sculpting.
Lori Norwood said:
I can’t just sculpt for an hour or two. Once I get into the studio, I live there.

Erudite, Driven, Disciplined
Sports Illustrated said:
She is a sweet-faced, soft-spoken, introspective woman who spends a great deal of time reading and thinking about things besides pentathlon – things like art, life, the environment. Her serene countenance belies the fact that Norwood is a driven, focused competitor who came back after a two-year layoff to win the world championship in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, in August 1989.
Coach Peciak said:
She’s very disciplined. And she has a talent for work. Lori is a person who hates to lose. She’s much tougher in the brain than the men.
How would you respond to her coach’s comment of Lori’s mental toughness being superior to men, (I’m sure he means most rather than all), based on what you’ve learned thus far in the book? I would have to agree with him. We have repeatedly seen the ISTP’s superiority in most sports, both physically and mentally. The INTP shares the same Introverted, Thinking, right-brained dominance, with only iNtuition differing from the ISTP’s Sensing. INTPs will not possess the ISTP’s superb motor skills but will share similar mental intensity and toughness. INTPs normally attack and dominate the books (using iNtuition) the way ISTPs dominate sports (using Sensing). In the case of Norwood, she has demonstrated her prowess in some sporting events as well.
Lori Norwood said:
I’m not an amazingly talented or gifted athlete. I’m just more able to stay concentrated on something for a long time and be consistent.
ITPs (ISTP and INTP) are able to concentrate longer and deeper, and reason more in the inanimate, logical realm than any other Brain Type. If the reported percentages of Types in America are roughly accurate, with ISTPs accounting for 5% and INTPs 2%, then approximately 93% of the population (including men) is not as mentally tough as ITPs.
Sports Illustrated said:
. . . Norwood is Peciak’s favorite student. She would be any coach’s dream – she follows orders without question and never complains, no matter how much she may be hurting. Her idea of fun is a 10-mile run. Other U.S. team members may straggle into practice 20 minutes late, but she’s always on time. Although practice starts at 8 a.m., Norwood is up at 6:30 so she can be fully awake and focused for her workout.
Bob Nieman, the only other American besides Norwood to win a pentathlon world championship, said:
Bob Nieman said:
This sport may require more mental discipline than any other . . . Lori’s got a real good head for the sport.
In 1991, after observing his rookie player for only five days, Dikembe Mutombo (INTP), Denver Nuggets coach Paul Westhead made an assessment:
Paul Westhead said:
Right away I could see that the guy could do a lot more things than people thought he could. And he could learn. Tell him something once and he would learn it.

Artistic, Spatial, Right-brained

Lori Norwood is an accomplished artist as well. Her INTP right brain preference enables her to see and visualize creatively and in detail.
Lori Norwood said:
I love the feel of clay. I always had a three dimensional sense as a kid. I was always making dogs and other animal figures, or building sand castles out of mud – always creating.
It’s fascinating to hear her speak of “three dimensional sense” and “always creating.” We saw in the Neuroscience chapter how the right hemisphere has superior three dimensional perspective. Though left-brained Types do not possess this innate adeptness, they can appreciate the finished artistry of the Perceptive Types.
Lori’s and other INTPs’ iNtuition will be the catalyst for “always creating.” Regardless of how they use their N, it will be a highly proficient brain function.

Type Tips
INTPs normally take to academics like ducks take to water. They have an aptitude for learning and can find great satisfaction in excelling in school. They can find the formative years of lower education quite a bore, however. The subject matter is often too rudimentary and the pace of learning too slow. Encouraging INTPs to develop an interest in school and learn solid study habits is the first step to help INTPs vocationally. No Brain Type has greater cerebral potential than INTPs.
INTPs can be very good athletes. Tennis is a great sport for them to pursue. I don’t know of a professional sport in which INTPs can achieve greater success. They can also excel at long distance running.
INTPs, like all iNtuitives, should work hard on developing their motor movements. Lots of running and learning body balance will improve the gross motor skills, while performing hand eye coordination drills will enhance the fine motor movements.


Basketball: Dikembe Mutombo
Tennis: Mary Joe Fernandez, Arthur Ashe
Football: Art Monk
Track and Field: Cathy Freeman
Coaches: Tyrone Willingham


Mathematics, philosophy, psychiatry, medicine, advanced sciences, university teaching, physics, research, strategic planning, creative writing, literature, music, art.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 5
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
I think there's some good information in there, however I only scanned it. I've got to think there's a shorter snappier way of saying whatever it is you were trying to say. The formatting hurts my brain and I find it difficult to process the bolding, indents, italics and various font sizes. I think this is an interesting topic though, so I'm going to post.

As an INTP, personally I find I develop an addiction to certain activities. If I am doing a sport where I feel it's a bit off-kilter or rebellious, it's a great opportunity for me to let off steam. I like to constantly challenge myself when I'm playing sports, and enjoy the theory as it applies to the practical result. The practical feedback is greatly satisfying, as I know so often I am in my head. It's instantly gratifying.
I think there's some good information in there, however I only scanned it. I've got to think there's a shorter snappier way of saying whatever it is you were trying to say. The formatting hurts my brain and I find it difficult to process the bolding, indents, italics and various font sizes. I think this is an interesting topic though, so I'm going to post.

As an INTP, personally I find I develop an addiction to certain activities. If I am doing a sport where I feel it's a bit off-kilter or rebellious, it's a great opportunity for me to let off steam. I like to constantly challenge myself when I'm playing sports, and enjoy the theory as it applies to the practical result. The practical feedback is greatly satisfying, as I know so often I am in my head. It's instantly gratifying.
Um. It says you're an ESTP.
I find that INTPs can adapt well to sports if those sports are complex, engaging, have the capacity for psychological/physical growth, act as a way to reduce tension, have the space to accommodate creativity, and have a strong individual aspect. Martial arts, for example, are great for INTPs because they can absorb themselves in the philosophy underlying the combat.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has a rich and endless array of techniques that can be applied in drilling and sparring. The techniques themselves are expressed in countless variations, chains, and for different reasons, constantly changing under the context of their execution. BJJ is often compared to a human chess match, involving a real intellectual understanding that's being tested under fire. An INTP might see sparring in this art as a way to express their creativity through different set-ups for submissions, experimenting with variations of offenses and defenses, all while reducing their stress, learning to be in the moment, and progressing to the endless next stages. And sports like the martial arts involve physical training, focusing on agility, endurance, strength, and flexibility. These components are studied thoroughly and improved upon.

This article mentioned motor skills but any type, if training for long enough, can develop their muscle memory so that their moves will come naturally. But one problem INTPs might have is staying in the moment. We're often so absorbed in our own thinking that we might forget to focus on what's happening around us and make errors. We could also become lazy and slack on the discipline portion of sports.

But we do have the ability to become obsessed with what we love and spend countless hours studying sports like a theoretical physicist studies string theory. With enough practice and interest, it's possible to find INTPs investing themselves to the mastery of their sports, especially those that offer limitless avenues for growth.

I find myself attracted to individual sports that require study and practice, but have a philosophy to them. And overtime I have learned, through breathing and patience, to stay engaged in the moment and explore what I am capable of.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Someone said that sensors are physically sturdier than intuitives, I agree with that. They are the gunslinger, special forces, smooth operator. Ns have a problem with that.

Doesn't matter how much you study, that's the thing. It's physical and sensing. Some of the best players absolutely suck at coaching, because they don't actually understand the game very well. They just do it. Whereas some of the best coaches, were mediocre players. They understand the game better than anyone, and are true students, but couldn't turn it into effective action due to lack of physical ability.

I think sports are very S oriented, music is too.
I'm interested in fencing. advice? comments? words?
I'm interested in fencing. advice? comments? words?
Okay, some words:

If you're going to take lessons, don't let them move you up to the next level until you have won at least one match. I took fencing for a while, but stopped because it was bad enough losing to other 16-year-olds at the time, but I couldn't deal with repeatedly getting my ass kicked by 9-year-olds using techniques I've didn't know existed. Immature of me, I know, but I think I've grown up since then.

If I could find a reasonable instructor, I'd love to take it up again. I definitely recommend trying it out.
Just found this post. I agree. Im 32 right now. When was in highschool I was a very good athlete. I think mostly because of genetics. Im mexican but with a tendency of being I little bit tall (1.80 meters, 5 11 i think) was very thin but with very very powerfull legs and i mean Powerfull. With no training I won everybody there and with training went to nationals at 100 and 200 meters. I was fast and powerfull (was).

That was it. Then I go to college and i didnt continue. Now Im an engineer with a ilttle bit overweight (200 pounds) but just recently started training again to run street 5k. Is not the same sport but now I like it a lot. Im still fast but cant return to being an athlete at this point of my life. Can I?

Also im good at basketball, soccer, and frontenis, sometimes play voleyball. Not very good but decently good. I found sports very interesting but not to the point of watch every game. Not until i found the technique and all knowledge behin.

Regards. Alan. Intp
I enjoy baseball, now I think about it, I can see why I was drawn to it
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.