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Castles by Ants – Episode 25: One-way Personalities

An ongoing series about psychology in the world of sport.

An example of a one-way personality
An example of a one-way personality

The opposite of a complex personality, a one-way personality is one where a player has a maximum of two personality types that reach four units. In most cases, only one personality type value is above this threshold. They are often team sports superstars! Why? Because while a complex personality spends serious energy and time finding the direction that is best for them, one-way players avoid this delay altogether and instead gain further knowledge and experience in a particular position. As a result, it is much easier to place them on a team and deploy them in a strategy. A further advantage is that they are committed to the task assigned by the coach in all circumstances. They do not ask questions, they do not debate unnecessarily, and they comply with the instructions. They do not overthink a situation and try to figure out how they can be made the fool, so they are perfect for team play. And in the case of the Individual personality type, once they get onto a team for their outstanding creativity, uniqueness, and often selfishness, it is highly desirable to have a one-way personality. Because if the Individual also starts to pretend that they are smarter than their coach and begins to overcomplicate the tactics, little good will come of it!

Until about a decade ago, one-way personalities had high success rates. The vast majority — almost 100% — of the world’s biggest stars had one-way personalities, though many believed that someone could only be the best in the world with a complex personality. One-way personalities are most common in football as the true scorers or in handball as the best backs who create goals singlehandedly. And it also occurred in basketball with the centre position or in water polo with the back position. With the arrival of new generations, the personality map is shifting slowly but surely, and one-way personalities are falling out of favour. The more complex the sport, the less space there is for them. But of course, you always need a player who goes in without question and scores a penalty shot without overcomplicating the situation!


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Castles by Ants – Episode 24: Complex personalities