• Creative problem solving, willing to embrace an idea
  • Empathizes with teammates
  • Comfortable adapting in the moment

TRAILBLAZER CHARACTERISTICS

  • Free thinking
  • Welcomes change
  • Often reinvents the wheel or makes a simple task too difficult
  • Typically very social- allows people in close
  • Loves living life and often seen as the life of the party
  • Aesthetics are important to them, so they may have strong interests in food, arts, culture, and clothing
  • Intuitive, often insightful perspective
  • Idealistic, pie in the sky dreamer
  • High energy and interaction often followed by crashing
  • Expectations and goals may be unrealistic
ENERGIZING
EMPATHETIC
TRENDSETTING

TRAILBLAZER STRENGTHS

  • Creative problem solving, willing to embrace an idea
  • Empathizes with teammates
  • Comfortable adapting in the moment

TRAILBLAZER STRUGGLES

  • Could be easily distracted
  • May make unnecessary changes
  • Sometimes has difficulty Following through

TRAILBLAZER INSPIRATIONS

  • Living life well
  • Deeper knowledge and understanding
  • Artistic interests or perspectives
  • Joy of showcasing their talents

INTRODUCTION

Typically, sports is viewed as very down to earth and practical, a far cry from things like being a musician, artist or author. Yet the Trailblazer has an artistic temperament and interests. Trailblazers are often attracted to culture, aesthetics and things like philosophy. Other people will see them as cerebral.

The Trailblazer can connect the dots and relate to concepts that others may not see as connected. The Trailblazer is fairly outgoing and desires a fairly high level of intimacy or closeness in relationships.

Trailblazers like to perform, not for ego reasons like being in the spotlight, but for the joy of performing their ‘craft’.

EFFECTS OF DEFINING TRAITS

The Trailblazer is motivated to understand why and how certain things work. Trailblazers will want to drill deeper on a topic rather than simply knowing the surface facts. They want to understand theory.

Another effect is that the Trailblazer would rather look good than make the play or complete the task. Put another way, they feel that style can be more important than substance. Socially, others will see the Trailblazer as rather uninhibited and some may feel Trailblazers should practice more restraint.

 

Finally, the Trailblazer has some habits that lead to inefficiency when tackling tasks or practicing sports.

 

DURING ATHLETIC COMPETITION

The Trailblazer has a balanced decision style in terms of being decisive versus cautious/hesitant. This means that they can shift gears mentally and react quickly when the situation demands it and be more cautious in other situations. Another noticeable trait is that the Trailblazer typically executes with proper technique.

Finally, the Trailblazer is able to easily make adjustments during competition, but the flip side of that is they will have difficulty in strictly sticking to the game plan due to their desire to improvise.

HELPING THE TRAILBLAZER

One thing that would help the Trailblazer is to run concentration drills. These should be sport specific. The Trailblazer also needs help developing shortcuts and being efficient. Trailblazers tend to make a simple job difficult. Related to this, the Trailblazer needs help setting priorities.

In general, the Trailblazer also needs some help with assessing a situation in a realistic fashion. Sometimes you need to bring the Trailblazer back down to earth.

Finally, it helps the Trailblazer to learn and understand if you present some concepts and strategy instead of just X’s and O’s. This is very important. Stress the “why” and the “big picture” to get their full support and attention.

PROMINENT PRO ATHLETE TRAILBLAZERS

Cam Newton, football
Matthew Stafford, football
Dak Prescott, football
Nick Foles, football
Julio Jones, football
Khalil Mack, football
Tim Tebow, baseball/football
Ryan Zimmerman, baseball
Zack Greinke, baseball
Dellin Betances, baseball
Chris Archer, baseball
Nolan Patrick, hockey
Adam Ghitelman, lacrosse
Tucker Durkin, lacrosse
Ken Clausen, lacrosse
Janelle Lindvall, softball

TRAILBLAZER TIPS

GUIDANCE FOR COMMON SITUATIONS IN ATHLETICS AND LIFE

TRAILBLAZER ATHLETES PARENTING THE TRAILBLAZER COACHING THE TRAILBLAZER

TIPS FOR TRAILBLAZER ATHLETES

HOW YOU CAN BE MORE EFFECTIVE IN COMMON SITUATIONS

KEY TENDENCY

With your broader range of interests, make sure you provide yourself with some variety in your activities. Even though you are an athlete, you can’t sit there and watch sports on TV 24/7.

DEALING WITH PRAISE

When you do something well, if you don’t understand exactly what led to that result, be sure to ask a coach what exactly it was you did so well. Try to remember so you can repeat it.

DEALING WITH CRITICISM

With criticism, you know you did something wrong and you probably know why it was wrong. Your focus should be on what exactly you did wrong and how to avoid it in the future.

RELATING TO OTHERS

You relate well to concepts, ideas, ideals, even the process of creating and/or performing. Ask others to join you in that thought process.

TAKING INSTRUCTIONS

When receiving instruction, ask for help prioritizing which information is most important so you can focus on it.

MOTIVATION

You are likely to have lofty or far-fetched goals. First, set smaller and more practical goals that can lead you to those bigger goals.

AFTER A SETBACK

You should go have some fun to shake it off, take a breath . Don’t try to take drastic action to fix things as you may end up making things worse. Talk with your coach or mentor.

PRACTICE AND PREPARATION

Try to spend more time focusing on the fundamentals and finer points of your sport.

HELPING OTHERS

Use your natural empathy to help teammates overcome mistakes or when they are down.

CAUTION

Trailblazers should ask themselves — is what I am doing leading to practical results or am I just going off on a wasted tangent? Best to focus more on tasks that lead to practical and tangible results.

PARENTING THE TRAILBLAZER

HOW YOU CAN BE MORE EFFECTIVE IN COMMON SITUATIONS

MOST EFFECTIVE PARENTING STYLE

To connect with your Trailblazer, inject some realistic, practical, and pragmatic points into your conversations with them.

HOW TO PRAISE

Keep praise practical and specific for Trailblazers. Praise efficiency and sporadically.

HOW TO CRITICISE

Make sure you first get your Trailblazer’s attention and then help them understand the specifics on exactly what behavior or technique needs to be corrected. They need to hear the details.

HOW TO RELATE

Trailblazers are usually artistically minded, relating to concepts and ideas– the intangibles. Use themes to relate to them more.

HOW TO INSTRUCT

Start with the big-picture concept and then fill in the details afterward. Trailblazers are more inductive than deductive.

MOTIVATION AND GOALS

Trailblazers get excited about mission statements and ideals making them more likely to have lofty or far-fetched goals. Help them set smaller and more practical goals that can lead to achieving those bigger goals.

AFTER A SETBACK

Trailblazers may crash hard at first but should bounce back. Remind them that the light bulb was not invented on the first try..

PRACTICE AND PREPARATION

Make sure your Trailblazer spends enough time on the basics and fundamentals of the sport.

WHAT TO ENCOURAGE

Trailblazers wants to see their parents exhibit some zest for life. If parents can find a common activity or hobby they can share with their child and both be passionate about it, this can serve as a lasting bond between parent and child.

WHAT TO CAUTION

Your Trailblazer will often try to reinvent the wheel. Steer them to follow best practices for completing tasks efficiently.

COACHING THE TRAILBLAZER

HOW YOU CAN BE MORE EFFECTIVE IN COMMON SITUATIONS

MOST EFFECTIVE COACHING STYLE

Go easy on the X’s & O’s with Trailblazers, include some philosophy and ‘big picture’ ideas to get them to buy into what you’re teaching them.

HOW TO PRAISE

Trailblazers do not need a great deal of praise. If their intuition is leading to good performance, be sure to reinforce these results with praise.

HOW TO CRITICISE

Trailblazers can handle criticism, but make sure they understand the constructive feedback – that’s the key.

HOW TO RELATE

Usually Trailblazers are artistically minded, relating best to concepts, ideas, intangibles.

HOW TO INSTRUCT

Trailblazers need help prioritizing the information given to them because it is easy for them to get lost in the minutia. Example–have them put their notes in outline form, not just bullets but in a hierarchy starting with number 1 then sub points starting with a., etc.

MOTIVATION AND GOALS

Trailblazers get excited about mission statements and ideals making them more likely to have lofty or far-fetched goals. Help them set smaller, more practical goals that can lead to achieving those bigger goals.

AFTER A SETBACK

Trailblazers will usually recover quickly but may not learn from the setback as much as others. Take time later to ensure any lesson from the setback is absorbed.

PRACTICE AND PREPARATION

Trailblazers are likely to be easily distracted. They are more likely to stay on track when doing the practice or exercises with people they like. Try to make the activity fun to keep them engaged during practice.

ENCOURAGE AND DEVELOP

Don’t temper the Trailblazer’s spirit, but they will need a little more real-world perspective than others. Keep them in touch with reality.

WHAT TO DEVELOP

Help them develop more efficient work habits.