• Honest and straightforward
  • Carefully thinks through decisions
  • Good at sticking with a routine

ENGINEER CHARACTERISTICS

  • Enjoys thinking things through and finding a solution
  • Prepares for the worst
  • Cautious and careful to avoid mistakes
  • Good at understanding complex tactics
  • Honest, straightforward admits faults
  • Is often comfortable going with the flow and defers to others
  • Maintains a set of values
  • Will dig in and become stubborn when values are compromised or when others are illogical
  • May be quick to show frustration or anger
  • Seeks to conduct practice repetitions until mastery
CEREBRAL
HONEST
VALUES

ENGINEER STRENGTHS

  • Honest and straightforward
  • Carefully thinks through decisions
  • Good at sticking with a routine

ENGINEER STRUGGLES

  • Often resists change without good reason
  • May be too blunt or difficult socially
  • May not push themselves hard enough when things are difficult

ENGINEER INSPIRATIONS

  • Chances to dig into complex and challenging problems
  • Reinforcing their own values
  • Avoiding painful mistakes
  • Perfecting a difficult skill

INTRODUCTION

The one defining characteristic of Engineers is their tendency to prepare for the worst and, consequently, try to avoid mistakes. This is a very dominant tendency and according to research-supported theories (Zajonc), people go to their most dominant tendency when under pressure. Thus, the greater the competitive pressure, the more likely an Engineer will display this response.

EFFECTS OF DEFINING TRAITS

Preparing for the worst could be a strength in one situation and a weakness in another. A coach may want a goalie to be prepared for the worst and cautious at all times. In other words, an Engineer probably seldom drops their guard; they stay on their competitive toes.

The Engineer who is traveling to compete probably never forgets to pack their equipment, including bringing some backup items. On the other hand, a Quarterback who is an Engineer may be too quick to tuck the ball and run instead of waiting for a receiver to get open. A golfer who is an Engineer may make a poor decision in club selection or will overcompensate by hitting the ball too far away from a hazard.

On a team, and individual level, an Engineer-like behavior we often see is a team with a big lead becoming cautious and conservative only to let their opponent get back in the game and allowing the momentum to shift.

DURING ATHLETIC COMPETITION

Preparing for the worst is the dominant trait of the Engineer, while the most common associated response of this trait is to overcompensate. Think about a Pole Vaulter or Long-Jumper who does not want to foul. Their whole approach will be to try and avoid this mistake, even if they do not attain optimal loft. Another example might be a defender who over-adjusts when they start to sense the offense is trying to create a mismatch. You might also see a defensive back or center fielder start backpedaling as the ball is snapped or the center fielder hears the crack of the bat.

A very similar tendency is for the Engineer athlete to abandon proper stance because they want to stand higher and see the entire field or court. This causes them to get out of position. The Engineer also tends to “bite” on a fake style of play or move by the opponent. It’s because they are thinking about the worst possible scenario and a well-designed fake will trick them.

Lastly, the Engineer is not more distractible, but things like trash talk from the opponent will get under their skin a little quicker than with other Athlete Types.

HELPING THE ENGINEER

Engineers should be encouraged and reminded that the time to make mistakes and experiment with trial and error is at practice. Engineers will sometimes practice things which they have already mastered instead of working on things that they are not very skilled at. Also, help them realize that sometimes “pretty good” is good enough to pull out a win. In other words, help them avoid the trap of trying to be a perfectionist.

Finally, have them focus on the positive, such as seeing themselves properly executing a play. Practicing positive imagery is a great tool for an Engineer to employ.

Coaches, parents and teammates often try to be positive but their supportive comments backfire because of what is known as “The Ironic Error.” A simple example is to turn to someone and say: “Close your eyes, whatever you do, don’t think of a pink elephant.” Almost always, the person ends up thinking about a pink elephant. People trying to support the Engineer will sabotage their efforts if they say things like: “Whatever you do, don’t miss the putt.” Help the Engineer focus on the positive by describing the positive, like: “I know you will make this!”

PROMINENT PRO ATHLETE ENGINEERS

Aaron Rodgers, football
David Johnson, football
Dirk Nowitzki, basketball
Lorenzo Cain, baseball
Cole Hamels, baseball
Eric Law, lacrosse
Raymond Rhule, rugby
Duanne Olivier, cricket
Aubree Munro, softball



ENGINEER TIPS

GUIDANCE FOR COMMON SITUATIONS IN ATHLETICS AND LIFE

ENGINEER ATHLETES PARENTING THE ENGINEER COACHING THE ENGINEER

TIPS FOR ENGINEER ATHLETES

HOW YOU CAN BE MORE EFFECTIVE IN COMMON SITUATIONS

KEY TENDENCY

You have some strong feelings about certain people and things. Some of these feelings are negative emotions that can hold you back both in athletics and in general, and identifying these feelings is an important first step.

DEALING WITH PRAISE

Reflect on the praise you receive; not only so you’ll know the right thing to do next time but also to let this boost your confidence.

DEALING WITH CRITICISM

Criticism can get to you quickly, but it’s important for you to listen carefully to the corrective feedback that will help you in the future.

RELATING TO OTHERS

Find a good mentor who can challenge you mentally and keep you engaged with interesting ideas or problems.

TAKING INSTRUCTIONS

When you are given instructions like ‘do this when this happens’ it might be helpful for you if you ask ‘why’– then take time to consider how it fits into what you already know.

MOTIVATION

You may find it easy to coast, and you should set reasonable goals and make sure to have someone that can hold you accountable to them and your progress.

AFTER A SETBACK

You should try to find someone to talk to and sort things out, like what caused this setback and what your options are now. Ask for help because you don’t have to fix everything alone.

PRACTICE AND PREPARATION

Work on how to make mental adjustments during competition. Use mental practice to imagine different challenges that may come up during competition and how you will overcome them when these challenges present themselves.

HELPING OTHERS

Help others with complex decisions and, when needed, with constructive criticism.

CAUTION

Engineers tend to be concerned about the ability to make correct decisions in competition and in general. You should try not to second guess your decisions, especially after the game or competition, life will become easier if you can reduce second guessing your decisions.

PARENTING THE ENGINEER

HOW YOU CAN BE MORE EFFECTIVE IN COMMON SITUATIONS

MOST EFFECTIVE PARENTING STYLE

Your Engineer will need reassurance and they need consistency and stability in their life.

HOW TO PRAISE

Engineers relish when you praise things like good decisions or when they handle a situation in a calm and mature fashion.

HOW TO CRITICISE

Never make it a personal attack– even saying something they did was a dumb mistake will make them feel you are calling them dumb.

HOW TO RELATE

Try and provide an anchored world-view and reduce the confusion to a minimum when relating to your Engineer. In relating to others, they tend to be a bit onguard.

HOW TO INSTRUCT

Teach your Engineer the thinking-feeling link– how they think about a situation will cause them to feel that same way. Example: if they think they played horrible, they will feel horrible.

MOTIVATION AND GOALS

Engineers are often motivated by solving problems. Help them identify the right challenges to work on and then give them space to work it out.

AFTER A SETBACK

Help Engineers sort out what is in their control and then develop a plan that will help them make things improve.

PRACTICE AND PREPARATION

Extra preparation may backfire because it may lead to undue stress and burnout with Engineer athletes. Need to find the “sweet spot” between too little and too much practice and preparation.

WHAT TO ENCOURAGE

Strive to be a role model for handling emotions like anger, disappointment, etc. More than anything, your Engineer needs reassurance and consistency from you.

WHAT TO CAUTION

Avoid harsh criticism.

COACHING THE ENGINEER

HOW YOU CAN BE MORE EFFECTIVE IN COMMON SITUATIONS

MOST EFFECTIVE COACHING STYLE

Calm, composed and objective is what Engineers want and need from their coaches. The coach should strive to demonstrate predictable responses to things by being consistent.

HOW TO PRAISE

With Engineers, focus on logical and accurate praise, as opposed to emotional and supportive praise.

HOW TO CRITICISE

Criticize the Engineer(s) on your team carefully. Point out the mistake they made and then give them room to consider how to fix it. Many Engineers are sensitive to criticism.

HOW TO RELATE

Engineers usually prefer a logical and concise environment. Throwing in too much emotional content will likely bother them.

HOW TO INSTRUCT

When instructing Engineers, include the logical reasons why something is being done. Everything needs a reason.

MOTIVATION AND GOALS

If you push an Engineer, be very gentile. Give them rationale or a reason for the goal or planned task in order to get them to buy-in.

AFTER A SETBACK

Engineer’s are prone to slumps. They often blow setbacks out of proportion and stay upset. After a setback, the coach should talk to them and offer logical advice and constructive efforts. For example, tell them the past does not equal the future.

PRACTICE AND PREPARATION

Engineers often needs help getting organized. Many Engineers actually enjoy practice more than competition.

ENCOURAGE AND DEVELOP

Help Engineers gain emotional control and belief in their own ability, instill a faith or belief that they can control things that will make them (feel) better.

WHAT TO DEVELOP

Instill a faith or belief that they can control things that will make them (feel) better.