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:
Paul Azinger said:
"I responded under pressure better than I ever thought I was capable of.
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:
Larry Nelson said:
"My wife’s an extrovert, I’m an introvert. She wants to have people over to the house. I want to be alone.
Larry Nelson said:
"So what she does is get me out of the house and have people over."
Jack Nicklaus was voted player of the century in a poll by Golf Magazine in 1988. At a dinner honoring him, he said:
"All the finalists were asked to prepare a speech, but I thought that would be presumptuous. I said, ‘I’ll think of something when I get there if I’m selected.’ Well, I’m up here, and I don’t know what to say."
Columnist Scott Oster wrote, in 1988:
Scott Oster said:
Every big league pitcher keeps a book on hitters. Some pitchers actually jot down the information in a book, some store it in their heads. Some, because of lack of storage space keep the information in their catchers’ heads.
Scott Oster said:
Orel Hershiser may be the first pitcher ever to store his pitching secrets on a floppy disk. Orel is a child of the computer age. The Sultan of Software.
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 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.
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.
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.