In life, there are so many factors that help create results and gain success. Some factors are based on physical ability and some are based on efforts. The efforts require ability but even more so, they require a thought, a decision and then an action. This all comes from within – as a decision is made we often weigh up the pros and cons – sometimes we just jump straight in – other times we might walk away. Our education, our life experiences, our environment, and our behaviour guides us through every decision we make. When we talk about DISC profiling in work and sport it about how well the ‘people side’ is managed that differentiates the mediocre from the truly great.
DISC profiling builds the self-awareness you need as a Coach, an athlete or sports professional, to take your performance to the next level. To get ahead and stay ahead. Use it to develop your emotional intelligence and understand how to consistently achieve your best results as an individual and with others. Athlete Profiling DISC profiles use proven techniques based on decades of behavioural research and are created and used specifically for sport.
For the most successful people in sport there is a distinguishing factor that separates them from their peers. That is their constant pursuit for the competitive edge, in themselves and those they work with. They value the importance of communication, how well people work together and consistent personal and professional development. For the athlete, it is having a clear and rounded view on their performance – for coaches it encompasses not only their own performance but the athlete also. Let’s not forget our managers and trainers – their awareness is vitally important for the whole team. They focus in this area as they know it results in the best outcomes and ultimately winning. While often dismissed by others as the ‘soft side’, getting it right on the ‘people side’ results in the highest performances being achieved.
What is DISC?
DISC’s primary purpose is developing self-awareness and providing a framework to understand, then build effective relationships with others. Why is this important? Because in sport, what differentiates the best is never just physical or technical ability. Instead, it is who has the best mental, emotional and relationship skills. (The 2008 Olympic Study showed the top factors contributing to medal and PB performances, were a strong Coach-athlete relationship, and a high level of athlete self-awareness.)
As Joe Gibbs said: “You don’t win with X’s and O’s. What you win with is people.” DISC Profiling is the fastest and most effective way to develop the ‘people side’ of sport. DISC Profiling provides practical strategies to improve performance through:
• Developing self-awareness
• Effective communication
• More productive relationships
• Tailoring coaching
• Identifying how each person contributes their best.
Its applications range from improving team effectiveness and interpersonal relationships, to leadership development, to recruitment and professional development plans.
5 things you need to know about DISC in Sport
1. DISC focuses on behaviour which is how someone prefers to act and what they do, rather than personality traits. Behaviour is flexible, personality is not. We never ask an athlete to change their personality, but Coaches constantly ask athletes to adjust their technique or what they do.
2. At its core, DISC is a simple four-quadrant model. This is critical in sport as it allows Coaches and athletes to quickly understand, remember and use. Yet, you can also delve much deeper into its theory and application to truly master this area of expertise. (Personality tests are psychometric assessments. They are more complex and require extensive training to administer and work with. Also most are only developed for business, not sport.)
3. There is no right or wrong, best or worst DISC Profile. We have profiled many of the world’s best and see no pattern for who is more or less successful based on their DISC style.
4. Your aim is never to ‘improve’ your DISC Profile. Instead, the focus is on developing self-awareness, knowing what works for you and what doesn’t, and ultimately knowing what behaviours will produce the best results as an individual and when working in a team. This is the key to high performance and leadership.
5. DISC was first developed in the 1920’s and because it was never copyrighted, it has been continually developed, extended and improved on since. As a result, DISC is the most valid and reliable tool available
The DISC Model Explained
DISC measures a person’s degree of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientious behaviour. Everyone has their unique level of each in the context of their role in sport. (Other profiling tools say you are this or that. DISC measures as a scale which is more accurate and useful; and allows rapid comparisons to be made.)

The DISC Model Explained
DISC measures a person’s degree of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientious behaviour. Everyone has their unique level of each in the context of their role in sport. (Other profiling tools say you are this or that. DISC measures as a scale which is more accurate and useful; and allows rapid comparisons to be made.)

The four-quadrant model explains the behaviour of people with high degrees of D, I, S and C. For example, someone with a high level of Dominance is direct and faster-paced (x-axis); guarded and goal focused (y-axis). In contrast, someone who has a high level of Steadiness is indirect and slower-paced (x-axis); open and relationship oriented (y-axis).
Conflict can occur with people of different DISC styles due to their conflicting priorities (the y-axis, task/goal vs relationship/people focus) and/or their pace (x-axis, slower vs faster).

It has been around for over 80 years and it has never been as relevant as it is today!

How can we become better with our choices and efforts and is striving for perfection the key to our success?
Our friends from Proactive Coaching had this to say about being a perfectionist.

“Perfectionist Athlete” – while some may see being a perfectionist as a positive, for athletes it can be crippling to their performance. You may be a Perfectionist Athlete if you find yourself:
Having to play “perfectly” to feel good about your performance,
Focused only on outcomes & results, not the process,
Only satisfied with those outcomes that are “perfect”
Anxious, tense, & worried in competitions,
Seldom having fun while competing,
Motivated by fear,
Focused on avoiding mistakes,
Not performing the way you are capable of,
Struggling to enjoy the athletic experience the way you should.

Instead of trying to be perfect, consider this concept:
Seek Improvement & Excellence, not Perfection. By focusing on improvement and excellence, you focus more on the process of becoming the best you can be rather than the results of your performance. You also put far less pressure on yourself to achieve certain outcomes, which helps you perform your best.

Spending time with successful sportspeople can be an incredibly rewarding time. Being a part of a successful campaign where individuals and teams continually strive for perfection is often a coach’s dream. The thing is – not everyone wins. In sport and life there is a winner and a loser in most situations. For those that strive for excellence and achieve – there is always a story behind the success – a story that may surprise many of you. For those that strive and miss the mark – the story is often very similar but for 2 seemingly simple realisations.

The big secret…2 of them…what are they?

Environment and Behaviour
Awareness of your environment and your behaviour. This should be easy to conquer you might ask?
It can be.
First let’s look at what your environment might look like at–
• Birthdays
• Christmas
• Parties
• Socialising with friends
• Holidays
I think it’s fair to say these events help create a fun and enjoyable environment.
So, what would your behaviour be in this type of space?
• Relaxed
• Humorous
• Loving
• Thoughtful
• Emotional possibly … many more I know but you get the drft.
Let’s change our environment to these situations–
• Work deadlines
• School exams
• Job interviews
• Team selection
• Confrontation
• Disagreement
• Fighting or dare I say it … war
What would our behaviour become – how will we react in this environment?
• Stressed
• Uneasy
• Worried
• Anxious
• Aggressive
• Hurt
• Protective … again the list goes on
The above can easily become multi-level, 3 dimensional and complex. We have only touched on it and there are so many things to think about.
When we gauge personal development, the games we win are not a true measurement. The games we win are a by-product of our development.
The sales we make in business are accountable in the workplace – the targets we meet are all about doing and keeping our job.
Let’s think about that for a minute…. tell me this…what is our environment like and how are we adapting our behaviour for results?
Our focus on winning can affect our performance in sport and work. There is a difference between being a perfectionist and having that “perfect game” or “in the zone” as many coaches would like to phrase it. Although the desire is clearly there to perform it is the other “seemingly” uncontrollable emotions that leave us all vulnerable and exposed. Doubt, concern, and fear build up while focusing on the “perfect” performance. Some will start to break down every aspect of their performance and ultimately be their worst critic and it may detract from their preferred outcome.
Talk to us about creating a blueprint for success – it is all about your behaviour in any situation. That’s the one thing you can control.

It hasn’t been on purpose but I have often promoted people with that competitive edge and have seldom been disappointed. One thing I have always acknowledged is the impact that sport has had on the social development of athletes and their careers – things like goalsetting, comradery, dependability, honesty…. the list goes on. A good example here of how we can learn further about talent identification and what some sports codes are doing to identify the next superstar. Talent acquisition is the next step.
Coaches and Players have a short term available to them for selecting the best. It all revolves around a short career in their high-performance sport. In the workplace, we are often recruiting people for a career and in many cases a lifelong decision to stay and develop in their trade.
It is not necessarily what the top sports teams do it’s what they do differently – and this is what businesses can learn from.

I read an article quoting Colin Beames BEng, BA, MBA, Corporate Psychologist and Managing Director of

“A lot of talent development succession planning tends to be non-strategic and I think in the sporting world it’s more fine-grained,” Beames says.
“They look at their list, they look at roles and positions; they look at existing capability in those roles; they look at age, potential turnover, replacements, [and] to what extent they develop people from within versus to what extent they might want to buy people… from outside.
“With organisations I don’t think they necessarily go to that degree of detail.”
Organisations might have a talent pool of employees they want to develop. Have you asked “what are we developing for” and “are we focusing on developing the right people for the right roles” – to use a sporting analogy – “too many forwards and not enough backs”, Beames says.

As with high performance sports teams, identifying talent from within, and outside your organisation is incredibly important for the growth and sustainability of your business and team success.
First things first though, make sure you can identify your “critical roles” and what they look like. Where are the development opportunities and where do you start?
The working environment much like the sporting environment, can assist or desist in the behaviours of your staff and team mates. The environment and behaviours together will provide a blueprint for what is ahead. Your results as a business can benefit from knowing what this blueprint may look like.
Behaviours are adaptable – personalities not so much, at least not for an extended period. Your staff and athletes all have behavioural traits that can be better understood by themselves, their coaches, managers, and peers.
With a greater understanding and a willingness to perform either at work or on the field makes you and your team competitive.
Ask us what your teams blueprint for success might look like.