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.
BEIL / ISTJ "Investigator"
gatherer of data; compelled to identify reality and bring order; stable, conservative, dependable, reserved, logical, fastidious, systematic, painstaking, thorough, dutiful; fine motor skilled.
The ISTJ is a serious individual, driven by duty, realistically encountering life as a project to be ordered and understood. The ISTJ is calm, self controlled, almost aloof to the needs of others until they become obvious. Then the ISTJ rushes to the rescue, determined to be of assistance even if the need is not completely identified with by the ISTJ.
As children, ISTJs are quiet, neat, obedient, and a source of pleasure to the adults in charge. They are often good at school, turning in neat work on time. They are cautious, particularly in new situations, not wanting to be center stage. ISTJs prefer structure, wanting well defined goals and procedures, a schedule. This preference then is imposed by them on others, especially their parents. This means the ISTJ wants the parent to be responsible, dependable and on time. The ISTJ can appear bossy and controlling which he sees as being orderly and responsible. The room of the ISTJ gets increasingly neat as the child gets older.
The ISTJ can be described as hard working, dependable, persistent, analytical, traditional, pragmatic, conservative, honor bound, and more cautious than spontaneous. The rules must be followed and the work done before leisure can be enjoyed. Because he or she is organized and efficient, the ISTJ may be given a position of authority, though remaining a reluctant leader. At ease with logic and words, the ISTJ appears to have an outgoing nature, but is one of the most private of all sixteen Types. The ISTJ can mask vulnerability to criticism.
ISTJs show love by providing rock solid security and work with the certainty of the here and now over what may develop from stepping out into the unknown. They may marry irresponsible people and try to reform them. They are as demanding of those around them as they are of themselves. Though fiercely loyal, the ISTJ can seem cold and uncaring, needing to voice feelings of love and appreciation more often. Family affairs and holidays are usually important, as is being a provider or homemaker. ISTJs are happiest at home among family rather than meeting new people and approaching new situations.
The ISTJ does things right, is faithful and consistent in parenting, generous, painstaking, and decisive. ISTJs need to let loose a little, to take time for people so they don’t become isolated, and to recognize and deal with their own personal feelings. Even free time must have a purpose for the ISTJ and be task oriented. As guardians of traditional values, ISTJs are useful with their careful planning and patient attention to detail. They need, however, to take time to have some fun and be willing to ask for help. ISTJs select friends carefully, being keen observers of things and people around them. Though seemingly aloof and distant, they need and blossom under encouragement and appreciation for who they are and for jobs responsibly completed. A little notice of their strengths goes a long way.
ISTJs are acutely aware of their Sensing environment. Temperature, odors, sounds, and sights preoccupy their conscious and subconscious minds. Physically, ISTJs are generally the thinnest or slightest of frame of the 16 Types. Their Introverted, dominant Sensing function regulates their appetities with the sensitivity of a spider with a bug on its web. Satiety is quickly experienced. Overweight ISTJs are exceptions to the rule.
In recent years, Jungian-based questionnaires have shown an increase in ISTJ respondents. Many who rely on the popular psychological types approach, and do not understand Brain Types, believe ISTJs are one of the most commonly found Types in America. They are greatly mislead. Men in particular score their quizzes as ISTJs – placing high value on the reserved, pragmatic, logical, and organized traits of the “Investigator.” Utilizing Brain Types, especially its motor skill traits, quickly reveals the true ISTJ. In reality, the “Investigator” is one of the least found Types in the U.S.
The words “trustworthy” and “perfectionistic” typify the ISTJ. Organized and structured, ISTJs are an asset to almost any area of business. As dominant Sensates, they excel in hands on, practical occupations. Proficient with assignments placed before them, ISTJs enjoy problem-solving, especially when they must utilize their logical and analytical minds. They may go to great lengths ensuring that a project or assignment is completed down to the very last detail. They are collectors and articulators of facts to support views and projects. Overseeing and managing work that requires thoroughness comes readily to ISTJs. They appreciate guidelines and specifications and will stay within the boundaries of their position.ISTJs and Business/Vocations
Although they aren’t as controlling as Extraverted Js, ISTJs respect leadership and expect other coworkers to abide by the given rules. The ISTJ manager will keep things in order and delegate when necessity demands. Most are very dedicated and will not settle for mediocrity.
ISTJ Sports Profile
ISTJs are Introverted, left-brained STs. Found in many professional sports, they can be top-notch athletes. ISTJs tend to take a more defensive approach to their sport; this is where they excel most naturally. With hard work, they can master the offensive end as well.
Relying heavily on their left brain, ISTJs prefer processing matters sequentially. They want to ensure things are done properly and with control. This generally gives them a more conservative, defensive approach to sports, and life. Don’t be fooled, however, for when their skills, confidence, and motivation levels are high, they can be aggressive, with extraordinary concentration skills, as exhibited by ISTJs Jack Nicklaus and Chris Evert in their prime.
Golf normally requires deep concentration in times of tremendous pressure, and ISTJs excel with the mind, loving to consider all the nuances of the game and course, analyzing matters thoroughly with great patience.
ISTJ Orel Hershiser won the 1988 Gold Glove Award as the best fielding pitcher in the National League. He not only shut the opponents down at the plate with no runs for 59 consecutive scoreless innings this same year, but he captured this defensive award in classic ISTJ fashion.
Let’s not forget Hershiser’s unbelievable scoreless inning string. Few, if any, thought ENTJ Don Drysdale’s record could ever be broken. With the pennant race on the line, Hershiser bore down and maximized his ISTJ concentration. (It’s hard to believe, but ISTJs often find it hard to concentrate. Yet when something really gets their interest, no Brain Type can concentrate longer and harder on the present.)
ISTJs now retired from the NBA include defensive stars Michael Cooper and Bobby Jones. Michael Cooper’s wife once said of her ISTJ mate, and ex-NBA player:
He doesn’t spend, he doesn’t want clothes. He got married in a T shirt and jeans and he has been that way ever since. He doesn’t have a credit card, and he has only one gas card. That’s a tough way to live.
Tough Under Pressure
ISTJs generally handle sports pressure better than their other SJ counterparts. Their dominant Introverted Sensing function, supported by their auxiliary Thinking, enables them to maintain their composure and objectivity. ESTJs, generally second best of the SJs at handling pressure, show more effects of anxiety in the slower moving sports that require finesse.
Successful in Big Events
If often takes an important event for the ISTJ to give full effort, particularly in an offensive mode. When the big event involves a team sport, ISTJs want to make sure they contribute their share. They give extra effort for the team’s sake. In a major baseball game, ISTJs will normally bat for a higher average than in the normal season. If the event is basketball, they will score more points, especially if their teammates drop in their offensive production.
Major events in individual sports, such as tennis or golf, also bring out the reserved tenacity and competitive fire in ISTJs. Jack Niclaus’s performances in the four pro major tournaments is unmatched – winning 18. Winner of three majors on the PGA Tour, professional golfer Larry Nelson was particularly effective in pressure packed Ryder Cup play. In the year 200, Nelson was the top money leader on the Senior PGA Tour. Orel Hershiser performed his best through the pressures of the Dodgers’ pennant drive.
When ISTJs are exposed to new and challenging situations in sports, they often lack confidence, even when they have expert abilities. Unlike some Brain Types who relish such opportunities, ISTJs tend to be cautious and less than aggressive.
LPGA star Betsy King, ISTJ, did not win a golf tournament in her first seven years on tour. Nevertheless, from 1984-1989, she won 20 tournament titles – more than any other player on the men’s or ladies’ tour. She won back to back U.S. Opens in 1989 and 1990. In 1995, King won her 30th career victory to gain entrance into the LPGA Hall of Fame. As of 2000, King was the LPGA’s all-time money winner – with earnings near $7 million.
Paul Azinger, another ISTJ golfing great, was quoted after his 1988 victory in the Bay Hill Tournament at Orlando, Florida:
Originally Posted by Paul Azinger
These words came from the ISTJ who had been on Tour for 5 years, had won 3 tournaments in 1987 – the same year he was named PGA Player of the Year.
After winning the 1984 U.S. Open, golfer Larry Nelson was quoted regarding his personality:Introverted
Originally Posted by Larry Nelson
Originally Posted by Larry Nelson
Jack Nicklaus was voted player of the century in a poll by Golf Magazine in 1988. At a dinner honoring him, he said:
Originally Posted by Jack Nicklaus
Columnist Scott Oster wrote, in 1988:Thoroughness
Originally Posted by Scott OsterOriginally Posted by Scott Oster
Hershiser began using a computer in 1988 to keep track of all the baseball information that would be of interest to a pitcher.
Liked and Well-Mannered
ISTJ athletes are generally liked for their humble, low key demeanors. Fierce competitors when they want to be, they play within the rules. They don’t pop at the mouth like some other Types; thus, they are liked and respected.
No Brain Type has a better coaching mind than ISTJs (Manny’s note: Niednagel is an ISTJ. Biased much?). When considering all the facets of coaching, the deep thinking, analytic, logical, realistic and perfectionistic ISTJs are naturals. Regardless of the sport, they have an inherent ability to know how to teach and coach. ISTJs may not have been the best at performing the sport, but it is hard to find a Type that is better at coaching it.Great Coaches
Basketball’s John Wooden, football’s Tom Landry, and baseball’s Walter Alston will long be remembered by true sports pundits as being among the greatest coaches of all time in their respective sports.
Long-Suffering, Loyal, and Long-Lasting
SJs are inherently loyal and persevering. They feel obligated to stick through thick and thin until they see the job completed. Not ones to shun responsibility, SJs stand the tests of storms in their painstaking efforts to accomplish their tasks. They approach coaching with the same mindset.
Thinking SJs can handle criticism much better than their Feeling counterparts. Therefore, STJs would be more naturally suited to the rigors and pressures of coaching. As long as STJs believe they are doing the right thing with integrity, they are a bulwark. Couple these traits with Introversion (a preference not inclined to sudden changes) and we can see why ISTJs are among the most long lasting of the coaches, staying in the profession for as long as they are needed.
Development of spatial awareness will improve ISTJs’ athletic skills, enabling them to minimize conscious thoughts and have far smoother motor movements in competition. Visualization techniques can help them to activate their less preferred right hemisphere.Type Tips
ISTJs must learn to stay relaxed while performing, particularly in their forearms, wrists, and hands. They will have a tendency to tighten up in these areas when under pressure.
ISTJs must maintain positive thoughts to eliminate their tendency toward self-criticism.
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