It isn’t a weird shape or anything to do with a cult! The Enneagram is my favorite tool for understanding myself and others better. This week we are going to look at each of the Enneagram types and how knowing your own and others can make you a better athlete.
The purpose of the Enneagram is to understand what drives you and those around you. It is not so much a personality test as it is a motivation test. In fact it isn’t a test at all, it is something you should wrestle with continuously. It forces you to ask some hard questions about why you do what you do and why you do it that way.
In the Enneagram there are nine categories based on people’s inner drives or desires. Everyone falls into one type, though the categories can be more fluid than personality tests.
Spending the necessary time to find out what Enneagram type you are can greatly enhance your overall athletic potential.
5 Ways to Apply the Enneagram
1. Add focus to practice and training
At times it can be hard to bring the same amount of natural focus to practices. It is easy to get complacent now and then and go through the motions. If you understand your basic drive though, you will be able to remind yourself why you are at practice or training. And you will be able to address the reasons you don’t feel as up for it that day.
2. Control emotions → knowing what is frustrating you and why
We all know that emotions can fly during competition. The temper can blow from time to time, but do you always know why? Why did you get so mad when you missed this shot, but not the other one? Understanding your number will teach you what undergirds your frustrations in sport and how to better address it in the heat of competition.
3. Clearly see the boundaries of your comfort zone to push outside and grow
When you know what drives you you also find out what scares you. What do you want to stay away from? The Enneagram will expose these lines of fear for you. That can be a little uncomfortable, but if you want to achieve your goals you have to be able to see the areas where you truly need to grow.
4. Know your strengths to lean on for competition
The opposite of seeing your basic fears is getting to discover your true strengths. When finding your Enneagram number you will also find that you have strengths you took for granted. These are strengths that not many other people have and you can use to your advantage without having realized it in the past.
5. Be in the Zone
When there is a lot of chatter going on in the back of your mind it can be hard to play without thinking. You get hung up thinking about the last play or you start thinking about after the game or practice. Once you understand why certain thoughts are always trying to make themselves louder it will be easier to let them go. Only with an uncluttered mind can you be in the moment and play your best.
Feel free to check out the resources below if you want to jump the gun and do some digging on your own. One hint in figuring out your Enneagram type, it is not usually the first number you jump to! It always takes more digging.