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Personality and Behavior in Sport – What’s the difference? 5 Minutes with Bo Hanson

Bo Hanson
4x Olympian, Director, and Lead Consultant

Video Presentation by Bo Hanson, 4x Olympian and Coaching Consultant

At Athlete Assessments we are often asked ‘what is the difference between personality and behavior in sport?’  Watch Bo Hanson answer this critical question and find out how personality and behavior can be used to improve your performance.

Top 7 Differences between Personality and Behavior in Sport

  • Personality plays a major role in how someone behaves. However, personality is more about ‘who you are’ while behavior is about ‘what you do, how you act’.
  • Importantly, we can change how we behave but we can’t change our personality.  Behavior is flexible, personality is not.
  • It is easier to coach based on behavior.  We never ask an athlete to change their personality, but coaches constantly ask athletes to adjust their technique or what they do.
  • Behavior has context.  We may behave a certain way when competing verse how we are relaxing with friends (e.g. It may not be in someone’s personality to be a loud communicator, but you can coach someone to behave this way when on the field.  Afterwards they can ‘switch it off’.)
  • Personality tests claim that certain personality types are stronger in sport and in leadership roles.  Behavioral models say there is no best profile. (We have profiled some of the world’s best and we see no pattern for who is more or less successful.)
  • When developing leadership skills, you can ‘coach’ someone to have greater flexibility in their behavior.  You can teach leadership through building self-awareness and expanding the person’s choices of behavior for what is best for the people they lead or situation they face.
  • With behavioral models, such as DISC, you can delve deeply into the theory and application, yet at its core is a simple four quadrant model. This is critical in sport, for coaches and athletes to quickly understand, remember and use.  (Personality tests, such as MBTI, are psychometric assessments, are more complex and require extensive training to administer, yet don’t have higher validity or reliability than DISC.)

The Athlete Assessments’ DISC Behavioral Profiles are specifically tailored to sport, with customized Profiles for coaches, athletes and sports managers.”

Now you can see other Q&A videos, submit your own question below or return to the beginning of our video section.

Get Your Questions Answered

Athlete Assessments has a series of videos in which Bo Hanson answers questions we receive from our clients and contacts.  The most interesting topics are covered from a wide range of issues.  Benefit from these insights and you are also very welcome to submit your question too.

Athlete Assessments’ DISC Profiles

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

AthleteDISC ProfileGet practical strategies that will help you coach athletes based on their individual needs. Know the behaviors that produce 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. Find out more!

Click here to view a sample AthleteDISC Report


For Coaches – the CoachDISC Profile

Coach-DISC-profileThe distinguishing factor of great Coaches is their constant pursuit for the competitive edge both in their athletes and themselves. Coaches will better understand their coaching styles (and their fellow-Coaches’ and staff) and find new ways to further improve their coaching and communication with athletes and others. Ultimately, this results in increased success! Find out more!

Click here to view a sample CoachDISC Report


For Sports Administrators & Professionals – the Sports ManagerDISC Profile

Sports-Manager-DISC-profileProvide your people with a 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. Find out more!

Click here to view the sample Sports ManagerDISC Report


DISC Career Management Report (Optional at no extra charge)

Whether you are a student-athlete looking to enter the workforce or a retiring professional athlete, we are proud to release a new service that assists our clients in finding long term future prospects after sport. Now, no matter which DISC report you complete, it will be accompanied by a nine page Athlete Assessments’ DISC Career Management Report designed to contribute to your future career planning and success. Find out more!

Click here to view a sample Career Management Report     


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

Looking to catch up?
You can watch all videos in the 5 Minutes with Bo Hanson series.

You can watch all videos in the
5 Minutes with Bo Hanson series.

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