A LIGHTBULB MOMENT – BROUGHT TO YOU BY HUMANeX

Posted: Monday, November 6th, 2017. Filed under ATHLETeX, HXV Team
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Apathy. Nonchalance. Indifference. As a Division I collegiate coach, this is what I saw from one of our highly touted recruits during her first few weeks as freshman in our gym. She was raising the bar competitively and athletically but there was something missing in the connection with her teammates and coaches. For example, when she made an error there was no reaction, no communication, and no outward accountability. I worried, “Does she not care? Is she struggling with her teammates? How can I better engage her?” Her teammates echoed similar sentiments. Enter the Select 7.

In our partnership with HUMANeX, all of our student-athletes received their Select 7s, a personalized list of their top seven non-physical talents as measured through an online assessment. Our facilitator revealed how these talents help predict behavior, habits, and trends. Athletes with self-discipline and responsibility at the top of their lists described keeping multiple color-coded calendars and feeling most comfortable in highly structured environments. One athlete, who was strong in activator and positivity, was accurately pegged as the “Tigger” of the team. She was naturally inclined to impact others through her boundless energy and positivity. I’ll admit, at times “Tiggers” drive you crazy but identifying these non-physical traits allowed us, students and staff alike, to understand how we are hard-wired. And what’s hard-wired is nearly impossible to turn off.

Want to guess the top talents of our “apathetic” athlete? In a rare combo, her top two were resilience and self-confidence. Which means after an error while I am focusing on engagement with teammates, response to failure and building encouragement…she is not. At all. She knows she is good and she’s already over her mistake. What I was offering, based on my perception and experience, was not what she needed and quite simply would not help, energize, or motivate her. What she needed from me was instruction on what to do differently next time. That’s it. No frustration, no wondering if she disliked her role, team, position, or university. This was a lightbulb moment for me…and even better…it worked. I was hooked. Our team came away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of one another and a new way to engage with and add value to our overarching goals. She, by the way, earned all-conference honors her freshman year.

HUMANeX helped me understand my athletes on a deeper level, to meet them where they are to drive performance and build stronger relationships. Through our partnership with ATHLETeX, student-athletes better understood themselves and were pushed to use their unique, non-physical talents to support their team and contribute to our shared goals. This entire process, from profile feedback to TEAMeX (a team culture assessment) to Select 7s, was so powerful that it inspired me to help other coaches, teams, and athletic departments. Today, I am fortunate to have an opportunity do just that as part of the ATHLETeX squad. By no means is our insight a crystal ball, a hard yes or a firm no, but it fills in pieces of a bigger picture. It adds depth and zooms out to provide a better understanding of student-athletes, coaching staffs and colleagues alike. Most importantly, it creates opportunities to connect, empower, grow and learn from one another within the context of athletics. For me, that is what playing the game is really all about.

This post was written by HUMANeX teammate Erin M.

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