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.
BCAR / INFP "Idealist"
deep internal values; idealistic, romantic, appears calm; generally reticent; creative, avoids conflict, sensitive, aware of others’ feelings; sacrificial, welcomes new ideas; flexible, interested in learning and writing; composer; language skilled.
INFPs are a caring, devoted, and often scholarly Type committed to special persons or causes. Apt to appear reticent and shy, they have strong values. They appreciate abstract feelings such as love, loyalty, and faith, responding to the beautiful and good in life. They like to live in harmony and tend to maintain an awareness of people and their feelings. INFPs are usually interested in books and new ideas, and they’re adept at learning languages. They excel in vocations involving their personal values which they apply helping others live up to their possibilities.
The four Introverted iNtuitive Types (INFP, INFJ, INTP, INTJ) are considered the least commonly found Types in America, comprising an estimated 2 percent each.
The INFP is an idealist, always looking for perfection and rarely finding it. Rock star Michael Jackson, INFP, said of his mind set:
Originally Posted by Michael Jackson
As children, INFPs are daydreamers, creating a fantasy world to live in. This fantasy world is difficult for INFPs to leave behind, even as adults. With the world in an ever changing state of flux and turmoil, INFPs often wish they could return as Peter Pan to Never Land, the place where children never grow up. (Michael Jackson named his multimillion dollar estate Neverland Ranch!)
INFP children desire to please teachers and parents, finding it difficult to express their own needs. They have thoughtful, delicate consciences and need a lot of approval and positive reinforcement. They make affirming and positive parents, remembering their own needs at the same age.
INFPs are congenial until their values are stepped on or threatened. At this point, they become emotional and demanding. This contradiction can be confusing to those close to them, who see it as strange and complex. INFPs, however, are their own worst critics, judging their skills and accomplishments as less than perfect, leaving them vulnerable to depression. They are happiest when doing meaningful tasks on their own, working behind the scenes for those people and causes they respect and value.
They seem hard to get to know, but INFPs are a joy to work with, and they’re entertaining and humorous to those close to them. They want to communicate and to create and be appreciated for their uniqueness. They rely mainly on themselves, unwilling to ask others for assistance. They may have an independent stage in the teen years, though they are not aggressively rebellious, only intolerant of rules. They want to do things their own way.
Socially, INFPs can be very charming and personable, making an effort to reach out almost Extravertedly. They are reluctant leaders, using persuasion instead of dictation.
INFPs can be excellent musicians, vocalists, composers, and writers. Their poetic way with words and music is natural, and they should be encouraged as youngsters to develop these talents.
The foremost question INFPs take through life is, “Who am I?” Life delivers far more questions for them than it does answers. INFPs can be philosophical and poetic, not particularly practical. They are committed family members, devoted friends in their small group, and loving and romantic spouses. You can expect them to start more projects than they finish as they idealistically search for life’s purpose and meaning. They will use their inner prodding to make the world a better place.
INFP Sports Profile
By and large, INFPs are modest. Yet there are some INFPs who are downright aloof and cocky. The difference lies in how their values have been shaped. INFP’s parents can greatly affect their attitude. Major league baseball’s John Olerud, INFP, was labeled affectionately by Sports Illustrated:
Originally Posted by Sports Illustrated
INFPs, like other right-brained Ps, have extraordinary three dimensional spatial abilities. INFPs replicate others’ movements and then spice them with their own creativity. They are adept at imaginatively illustrating what they view whether it be on canvas, stage, or on the athletic field.
I have personally witnessed this ability in my youngest son, Jordan. My two other children had swimming lessons as kids. Jordan decided to skip lessons. He just watched the other kids until he felt comfortable, then jumped in and swam. He did the same with diving. When Jordan was in the 2- to 3-year range, he would watch me teach my oldest son how to perform an athletic maneuver. Within a couple of minutes he was mimicking me, often with more grace than I demonstrated. Trust me, INFPs are extraordinary mimics.
See the Golf chapter of this book for how another INFP, golfer Tiger Woods, learned to mimic his father.
INFP children are gifted from the very beginning with natural coordination, blending the gross and fine motor skills. They are as smooth and silky as any Brain Type when they take up a sport for the first time. Their coordination gets even better with exercise, culminating in graceful athletes.
INFPs are generally quick (provided they’re not overweight). Running down a pop fly, leading a fast break, or running a race, the INFP will be a contender whatever sport he or she chooses.
Being dominant Feelers in their Introverted world, INFPs possess a strong passion for what they value. In athletic competition they usually give tremendous effort. Only when they feel they are not being treated properly, or when personal stress is too much for them, do they lack drive and initiative. Otherwise their dominant Feeling function, being a Judging preference, is ready to take action whenever it concentrates on the task at hand.
INFPs are similar to ISFPs in their athletic confidence. As Introverted right-brained Feelers, they lean toward viewing their mistakes more negatively and subjectively than many other Types. If they have a tough “Thinking” coach, their problems can easily be compounded. Encouraging slumping INFPs with positive reinforcement will do wonders to bring out their best performances. They generally perform according to how they feel. As iNtuitives, they need their motor skills developed as early as possible.
INFPs are not always aggressive. It helps to provide them inspirational reasons for giving their best each time they play. Sharing the same song and dance every day will not cut it; INFPs respond best to creative variety. Those of us who assist INFPs need to broaden our motivational techniques.
Popular Career Choices:
Psychology, psychiatry, medicine, science, teaching (prefer higher education), counseling, religious education, ministry and missionary work, literature, art, music, composing and writing, poetry