DISC in Sport – Powering the People Side

Liz Masen
CEO of Athlete Assessments

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By Liz Masen and Kate Ross

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, and
  • 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.

Athlete Assessments’ DISC Profiles are specifically tailored to sport

Each assessment includes a 12-minute online survey and results in a personalized DISC Profile Report (with summaries for easy use). It details the individual’s personal style, strengths, limiting behaviors, communication preferences and the environment they perform best in.

For Athletes & Players – the AthleteDISC Profile:
Get practical strategies to coach athletes to their individual needs. Know the behaviors producing their best performances for greater consistency when it counts the most. Help your athletes build self-awareness to make improvements and take greater responsibility for their behavior, on and off “the field”.

For Coaches – the CoachDISC Profile:
The distinguishing factor of great coaches is their constant pursuit for the competitive edge, in their athletes and themselves. Coaches will better understand their coaching styles (and their fellow coaches’ and staff) to find new ways to further improve their coaching and communication with athletes and others. Their coaching results will only further improve, guaranteed!

For Sports Administrators & Professionals – the Sports ManagerDISC Profile:
Provide your people with comprehensive understanding of themselves and those they work with. It quickly improves communication, working relationships and ultimately results. Use with recruitment, as a foundation for professional development plans or part of a team building exercise.

Be strategic. Free up your valuable time from the stress of ‘people issues’.

5 things you need to know about DISC in Sport



  1. DISC focuses on behavior, how someone prefers to act and what they do, rather than personality traits. Behavior 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, such as MBTI, are psychometric assessments, are more complex and require extensive training to administer and work with. Also most are developed for a business context only, 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 increasing the choices of behavior to what is most effective to the situation and those you work with. This is key to high-performance and leadership.
  5. DISC was first developed in the 1920s 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.

This article was featured in People+Sport Magazine: Education and Professional Development Edition.

For more information, learn more about:

At Athlete Assessments, we’re here to provide you with excellence in service and here to you be your best. If there is anything we can assist you with, please Contact Us.

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Athlete Assessments'

DISC Profiles

Get the ‘People Side’ Right in Sport

The primary purpose of DISC profiling is to develop self-awareness and provide a framework for understanding others so you can build effective relationships. Athlete Assessments provides three different types of DISC Profiles, one specifically for coaches, one for athletes, and one for sports administrators and other professionals.

Each assessment provides a personalized DISC Profile Report based on the results of a 12-minute online survey. The individual report details personal styles, strengths, limiting behaviors, communication preferences, and the ideal environment to enhance performance.

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