Whether in professional, college, or high school sports, everyone seems to be looking for an edge over their competition. This current approach has led some to travel a path where winning, fame, and fortune become ultimate goals with little thought to one's character, integrity, and future health consequences along the way.
Well, what if there was another way to gain an edge over one's competitors? What if that way had more to do with gaining specific information about the athletes under your direction?
Many have enjoyed watching the movie Blind Side, an inspirational story of an individual that is given a chance to succeed. One of the best scenes in the movie is when Sandra Bullock's character steps on the field and tells Mike how to protect the quarterback and on the way off the field tells the coach "... you need to get to know your players."
What if there was a way to do this with precision?
What if having that information gave you detailed insight into your athlete's mental strengths, character, motivation, and potential limitations in such a way it helped break through to them. It would give you insight in how to help them reach their best level of performance and allowed you to reach inside each athlete and pull out the potential they have within just like Sandra did for Mike.
Do you think this type of information might help you to create a team environment where everyone on that team thrives? Where leaders can be chosen based on who brings the best leadership skills to the table in specific situations, and where goals become a mere end result of a process rather than the brass ring that few can reach.
If any of this has sparked your interest, then stay with me as I introduce you to Pam Brooks, a certified behavior analyst from Arizona.
I had the pleasure of making contact with Pam through her interest in my forthcoming book Becoming a True Champion. She wanted to purchase my book "on the spot" as a "great teaching tool for young people who aspire to be great athletes."
It was on emailing her back to explain that I am still in the process of seeking publication that we commenced a dialogue between us regarding what behavioral analysis, especially athletic behavioral analysis, is all about and how it works.
Through this dialogue she offered to test me to see where my results might fall on all of the parameters at her disposal. Since I had been through both a successful high school and college athletic career, I felt it would be interesting to see how all this panned out.
In addition, I was genuinely intrigued by what Pam was trying to accomplish. Now I should point out that Pam, aside from being a certified behavior analyst (as mentioned above), also
holds two Masters degrees in counseling and communications, worked as an athletic academic adviser at Boise State University and was a former Division I collegiate volleyball player out of the University of Washington. In addition to being a coach herself, she has been working with many collegiate teams over the years, including Division I teams with Final Four appearances and National Championships.
With a background like this, what more could one ask for from a behavior analyst who assesses athletic behavior? So I went ahead and took all the tests she threw at me. They were interesting, fun, and challenging, forcing me to make choices about things I normally don't give much thought to.
Without going into great detail, let me just say that Pam spent a lot of time with me over the phone thoroughly detailing my results. The passion for what she does was very evident throughout our conversation and the accuracy of her results, or profiling as it might be called, was, well, uncanny to say the least.
I was shocked at how well these assessments laid out my own personality and how well Pam was able to interpret them, and not just strengths but also "areas of improvement."
Pam, and these tools, basically took my personality apart piece by piece leaving a pretty comprehensive picture of who I was and how I react. Any minor discrepancies Pam was able to clarify using data from the assessment tools themselves.
From a teaching perspective, it gave all the pieces necessary for a coach to actively work with me as an athlete, and as a person. It would have given any coach the capability of enhancing his or her ability to inspire me to reach my own potential, as well as giving the coach the information needed to effectively integrate me into his or her team environment.
Pam's work is nothing short of amazing.
Just keep in mind that Pam and the tools she uses are only as good as the willingness the coach has to put her results into practical use.
As the Baylor Men's Tennis coach said, "We would not have won the National Championship in 2004 without the insightful assistance of Pam Brooks. She helped us better understand one another and brought out the best in all of us. I can think of no better way to help your program move to the next level than placing your group in her capable hands."