• Comfortable adapting to the moment
  • Seeks unconventional solutions to problems
  • Willing to take risks

MAVERICK CHARACTERISTICS

  • Inventive, likes coming up with new ideas
  • Does their own thing, goes against the grain
  • Enjoys social interaction and discussion
  • Enjoys trying new activities
  • Likes to play devil’s advocate
  • May be easily distracted due to chasing different ideas
  • Will step back and look at something with a new perspective
  • May seem a bit off-beat, likes to march to the beat of their own drum
  • Flexible about different tactics
  • Unwilling to conform, comply or fully commit to something
INNOVATIVE
ADAPTIVE
REBELLIOUS

MAVERICK STRENGTHS

  • Comfortable adapting to the moment
  • Seeks unconventional solutions to problems
  • Willing to take risks

MAVERICK STRUGGLES

  • Sometimes is sloppy with details
  • Often happy to wing it
  • May have difficulty following rules

MAVERICK INSPIRATIONS

  • Chances to be creative
  • Socializing and trying new things
  • Living in the moment
  • A team that does things differently

INTRODUCTION

The Maverick has free-flowing thought processes and is willing to share this train of thought with anyone who is close enough to listen. The Maverick is reluctant to adopt systems, conform, or comply.

They believe in living in the moment and taking life one day at a time. They don’t like highly structured individuals or situations. Likewise, they see lower value in tradition and custom than most. It’s easy for the Maverick to shift their beliefs and they question the status quo.

EFFECTS OF DEFINING TRAITS

A Maverick will typically embrace change. In fact, they might be an agent of change. Socially, Mavericks are fairly easy to get to know. Typically, they are not reserved, guarded or defensive. They are comfortable talking about themselves, their ideas, and their dreams.

Mavericks often tire of the same routine very quickly. This might include off-season conditioning and some of the other more mundane chores associated with their sport and position. Also, the Maverick does not see rules as absolute. With things like ethical judgment, the Maverick can see both sides of the argument.

Finally, when evaluating and making a decision, a Maverick will give more weight to the specific circumstances of a situation and less weight to fixed internal standards than other athlete types. For example, if the situation was in dire condition, the Maverick may feel it would be okay if the person broke a universal rule, like Do Not Steal to resolve the dire condition.

DURING ATHLETIC COMPETITION

In sports that have penalties and referees, the Maverick may show some marked tendencies. They may test the limits of a rule that results in a penalty. For instance, the NFL has periodically changed the parameters for which pass interference can be called. A previously legal technique like the bump and run for defensive backs may now be considered pass interference. The Maverick is going to test the limits of this new interpretation.

The Maverick will also tend to see things differently than the referee in certain sports. For instance, the Maverick pitcher probably has a more liberal interpretation of the strike zone than the home plate umpire. Mavericks generally deal with change well. But when a turnover occurs during competition, they may be too quick to abandon the game plan. The turnover causes little distress but they may decide to change directions instead of staying the course.

Finally, the Maverick is vulnerable to making some sloppy mistakes because of a general lack of focus on the details.

HELPING THE MAVERICK

Sloppy mistakes during competition also happen in practice. Coaches, parents, and teammates should be vigilant in making sure the Maverick does it right in practice. Have the Maverick practice concentration drills and figure out ways to remove distractions.

The Maverick can benefit from learning how to plan, organize, and manage time. In doing this, attention to detail should be reinforced. The Maverick may not like the military type of coach but could benefit from this kind of program.

Also, it is best if coaches, teachers, and parents give a explanation or rationalization for a rule. It’s best if a two-sided explanation is provided with the stated rule coming out on top in the plus column.

Finally, any time a coach can make the ordinary seem special or extraordinary, the better. An example is the old parent trick of: “Kids, let’s brush our teeth extra well tonight because we are having donuts for breakfast.”

PROMINENT PRO ATHLETE MAVERICKS

Joe Flacco, football
Jared Goff, football
Mo Bamba, basketball
Clayton Kershaw, baseball
Stephen Strasburg, baseball
Justin Verlander, baseball
Jake Arrieta, baseball
Jason Vargas, baseball
Ryan Brown, lacrosse
Marcus Holman, lacrosse
Niko Amato, lacrosse
Kylee Lahners, softball
Lauren Haeger, softball

MAVERICK TIPS

GUIDANCE FOR COMMON SITUATIONS IN ATHLETICS AND LIFE

MAVERICK ATHLETES PARENTING THE MAVERICK COACHING THE MAVERICK

TIPS FOR MAVERICK ATHLETES

HOW YOU CAN BE MORE EFFECTIVE IN COMMON SITUATIONS

KEY TENDENCY

Your style is to go with the flow, play with the cards dealt to you, so to speak. Help your teammates– especially those who may have a harder time with that, do the same.

DEALING WITH PRAISE

You do not crave praise as much as most others. Listen for any instructions in the praise, especially if the praise relates to your process, attitude, or effort.

DEALING WITH CRITICISM

Listen closely to what people are saying when criticizing you– there is probably some good advice you will miss if you don’t listen.

RELATING TO OTHERS

You look up to those who make it look easy. Keep in mind there may be countless hours of practice that makes it look so easy.

TAKING INSTRUCTIONS

Practice on correcting the things that caused mistakes in the recent past. Ask coaches or other leaders for advice on what to work on.

MOTIVATION

You feel others crowd you with their rules and you may want to go against this. Being the underdog motivates you, capture that feeling whenever you can.

AFTER A SETBACK

Generally, you roll with the punches well, you find it best to just move on. If you feel stuck, it may do you well to brainstorm with a creative partner.

PRACTICE AND PREPARATION

Don’t skip over those important details in practice and preparing for competition, because they could make the difference between winning and losing.

HELPING OTHERS

One of your strengths is coming up with new ideas, so help your teammates with new training or practice methods.

CAUTION

Mavericks have a tendency to think victory is all physical talent and underestimate the importance of effort, attitude and discipline. You should keep a journal of your practice a week leading up to competition. Then you can increase some aspect of practice, noting it in the journal and the positive effects you see.

PARENTING THE MAVERICK

HOW YOU CAN BE MORE EFFECTIVE IN COMMON SITUATIONS

MOST EFFECTIVE PARENTING STYLE

You will have to set and enforce boundaries for your Maverick, this is very important to be effective with most Mavericks.

HOW TO PRAISE

Praise things like punctuality or attention to detail, as these do not come natural to Mavericks.

HOW TO CRITICISE

Make sure your Maverick knows what they did wrong (not just that they made a mistake) and then focus on problem solving, the corrective action. Do not allow your Maverick to gripe or get down on themselves and the situation.

HOW TO RELATE

Be straight with your Maverick. Otherwise, they may not know when you are serious versus when you are kidding.

HOW TO INSTRUCT

Ask your Maverick for their solutions and ideas. They will also be receptive to unconventional methods, so you should encourage them to have brainstorming sessions.

MOTIVATION AND GOALS

Get your Maverick to stick with the program or a proven method. Emphasize that following the plan will lead them to success.

AFTER A SETBACK

Make sure your Maverick understands the cause and effect: how their action (or inaction) led to an unfavorable result.

PRACTICE AND PREPARATION

The concern will be if they put in enough time and effort to be ready for competition. To-do lists are helpful to Mavericks.

WHAT TO ENCOURAGE

Try to develop and reinforce the attitude that actions taken today will have an impact on the future and the idea of delayed gratification– these concepts don’t come natural to Mavericks and will have a large positive impact if developed. Point out how carelessness often leads to negative results.

WHAT TO CAUTION

Mavericks like to take risks. Help them distinguish between “safe” risks like trying a tricky new move in their sport and “dangerous” risks, like a reckless stunt that could result in injury.

COACHING THE MAVERICK

HOW YOU CAN BE MORE EFFECTIVE IN COMMON SITUATIONS

MOST EFFECTIVE COACHING STYLE

Mavericks may not like it but they need a firm coach who holds athletes accountable and provides appropriate boundaries. The coach needs to balance this with giving them some room to be flexible. One way to do this is to frequently give them choices on little things.

HOW TO PRAISE

Praise a Maverick when they follow the program because this is unnatural to them, point out how this leads to positive results.

HOW TO CRITICISE

Make sure they know what they did wrong, and not just that they made a mistake. Then focus on problem solving, and the corrective action. Do not allow Mavericks to gripe or get down on themselves or the situation.

HOW TO RELATE

Mavericks like people who want to explore or question the status quo. They will relate to a coach who evolves and adapts over time or tries some unconventional or risky approaches. Mavericks like it when they are considered the underdog.

HOW TO INSTRUCT

The focus should be to engage a Maverick in solving the problem by themself instead of letting the coach do all the problem solving. Work with them on coming up with solutions together initially, and then teaching them to be an independent problem solver.

MOTIVATION AND GOALS

Set short term goals for Mavericks– they need to take it in small steps. Be sure to get goals and commitments in writing from them.

AFTER A SETBACK

Mavericks may allow setbacks to cause them to lapse or get off track. They will need a boost, and one way to do this is to point out a setback is not the end of the world and that they should instead focus on our anticipated future success.

PRACTICE AND PREPARATION

Mavericks need a great deal of structure and monitoring during practice. Watch out for their tendency to be poorly prepared.

ENCOURAGE AND DEVELOP

Accountability is key for Mavericks– encourage behaviors and systems that involve accountability. Calendars and task lists are useful tools for Mavericks to work on this accountability.

WHAT TO DEVELOP

Understanding the importance of listening to authority figures like coaches, parents, and teachers.