Compatibility Series: Trailblazer, the Spirited Athlete Type

The relationship between players on a team can go a long way in determining success. Mutual understanding leads to more effective communication and a greater feeling of trust amongst teammates, allowing them to play with more confidence in each other, and therefore enabling them to focus on their own responsibilities during game action.

In order to build this understanding, it is important for athletes to understand that their teammates may think differently than they do. Not everyone has the same mentality, drive, focus, or mindset.

While treating others the way you would like to be treated is seen as the “Golden Rule”, in actuality, the best way to handle things is treating others in the way they would like to be treated, because there isn’t any guarantee that the way you would like people to treat you is the same way others would like to be treated themselves.

This is because nearly all of us are different. Understanding these differences and finding out ways in which to handle and manage them are the key to improved team-building. With the eight athlete types, there is an established baseline of understanding.

In this series of articles, we will look at the compatibility of each athlete type, and how they can work to better their relationships, despite some extreme differences in mindset and mental make-up.

Please note that this series is written for peer-to-peer relationships, meaning it is meant for relationships of people of equal status. This means that parent-child and coach-athlete relationships will not necessarily fit these descriptions. 

For this article, we will focus on the Trailblazer athlete type, also known as the “Spirited athlete type” and how compatible they are with the other seven types, and what they can focus on to improve some of their weaker connections.

  • Both of these Athlete Types thrive in social settings, so they would seem to get along in this regard.
  • They run into trouble in terms of when they have to work together, because the Trailblazer is typically too unstructured for the Rocket’s tastes.
  • If they have to work together, it is important that they brainstorm strategies together, but the time to do so is limited so they are pushed to making a quicker decision and compromise.
  • For example, if you have a Trailblazer and Rocket who are running pick and rolls together in basketball, and they can’t figure out the right way to attack a defense, during a time-out have the two brainstorm a solution, with some input and guidance from the coaches in order for them to work together effectively.

  • Both Mavericks and Trailblazers employ a free-flowing dynamic. This allows them to get along, because they see how the other processes their thoughts.
  • Mavericks will like how artistic the Trailblazer is.
  • Trailblazer should use caution when Maverick suggests making a change to something.
  • In games, both of these athlete types are liable to do their own thing, and begin to freelance. It’s important that a Trailblazer/Maverick combo knows each other well, so their improvisions don’t cause the other problems. They can come up with creative and dynamic ways to attack problems, so having them together can offer a serious benefit.

  • The Trailblazer in the relationship will feel like the Ice needs to loosen up, whereas the Ice will feel that the Trailblazer is too free-spirited, and needs to take things more seriously– that they lack discipline.
  • Both athlete types are known for having loads of energy and spirit, when put on a team or unit together, they will feed off each other’s energy in a positive way.
  • Tip: Ice should ask for a Trailblazer’s advice, especially when the Ice athlete can’t see the upside of the options they have. Trailblazers on the other hand,  should ask an Ice for ideas regarding forming an action plan, which is more their strong suit.
  • In sports, Ice athletes can help Trailblazers set more realistic goals for themselves, whereas the Trailblazer can assist the Ice by telling them to be less self critical, while helping them feel more comfortable communicating.

  • A pair of Trailblazers will get along great, because of their free-thinking mindsets and social dispositions. . It is likely they have some interests in common and like discussing these interests and sharing past experiences.
  • While they make a good combo, two Trailblazers together could become a problem as one can easily talk the other into doing something that may cause them both, or others some trouble– picking fun over being responsible.
  • One of the two or both Trailblazers should try to stop and look at the situation in a more practical and realistic way when they are involved in a paired task, like buying groceries or arranging furniture in an apartment. If the pair is planning on purchasing something together, set a spending limit ahead of time.

  • Trailblazers and Eagles are essentially polar opposites in the fact that Eagles are practical, while the Trailblazer will often have “pie in the sky dreams”. This causes Eagles to judge everything a Trailblazer does.
  • While there will likely be high friction between these two, it will usually manifest itself as bickering as opposed to full-on arguments.  The two might even become friends but this will not be a lasting relationship once they no longer live or work side-by-side.
  • The agitation between Trailblazers and Eagles is a result of their differing mindsets:
    • Trailblazers live in the moment, whereas Eagles are much more likely to dwell on the past.
    • Trailblazers want everything to look good and have all the finer details be beautiful and put together nicely, but the Eagle really has no desire or interest in decorations, and just wants things to get done.
  • These two athlete types will function best in a team sense if they try to work together to  avoid the limits caused by each of their weaknesses.
    • An Eagle, who makes decisions based on how others will perceive that decision can benefit greatly if a Trailblazer teammate asks them how that will make them feel personally, which is not something an Eagle may typically give much weight to. Thus, the Trailblazer is shifting Eagle’s focus from what everyone else thinks to how will this make the Eagle feel.
    • When a Trailblazer is doing something, it will help  if an Eagle asks them questions that yield insights to the Trailblazer’s thinking, to see why Trailblazers do things certain ways. This will also ensure that the Trailblazer has come to a clear and non-harmful decision/solution. This is how an Eagle can help a Trailblazer avoid making the same mistake twice.

  • Much like the Trailblazer and the Eagle, the Trailblazer and Musketeer may run into problems because of the Musketeer’s focus on being pragmatic vs the Trailblazer being idealistic.
  • Musketeers will see Trailblazers as reckless, and out of touch.  The Musketeer might voice warnings and concerns. Often, the Trailblazer will laugh off the Musketeer’s reservations, but not always.
    • The good thing about the relationship between Trailblazers and Musketeers is that Trailblazers will heed the warnings of Musketeers, and Musketeers will find Trailblazer’s perspective refreshing.
    • Trailblazers should use a Musketeer as a sounding board, and a Musketeer should ask a Trailblazer for help when it’s time to come up with an idea.
  • Trailblazers and Musketeers will do a good job with team building and bringing others together, because they both enjoy having people open up and share their personal thoughts and feelings with them.

  • Trailblazers are much more social than Knights, and Knights will wish Trailblazers would respect limits and boundaries more, causing moderate friction between the pair.
    • To avoid serious conflicts, the Trailblazer should definitely try to respect the boundaries a Knight sets up.  
  • To a Trailblazer, the Knight will seem territorial and possessive.
  • Although it may not seem like it, Trailblazers should realize that Knights want to open up and share, even if they don’t show it. It can help if a Trailblazer opens up and shares first, not prodding them into sharing what they don’t want to.
  • If a Knight gets into a situation where they feel trapped or boxed in (no good options), the Knight should discuss the situation with the Trailblazer to gain insight into additional options and approaches.

  • This pair is unlikely to become friends, even if they are on the same team and don’t openly confront each other.
  • When they work together, they will be a very poor at planning.
  • Engineers will see Trailblazers as a mystery, someone  who is too hyper and in some instances, careless. The Trailblazer will see the Engineer as a stick-in-the mud and a slob in some cases.
  • While they may not necessarily get along, Engineers and Trailblazers can still help each other improve themselves.
    • Trailblazers can help Engineers by pointing out the positives for them when they are facing a tough situation, because Engineers are likely to focus on the negatives. Trailblazers should also encourage an Engineer to be more decisive and consider the upsides of their options.
    • In this same regard, it’s important for Engineers to be less judgmental of Trailblazers and be willing to use the Trailblazer as a sounding board.
By |2019-03-19T15:38:04+00:00September 5th, 2018|Trailblazer|

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