In September 2013, the University of Oregon women’s tennis team wanted to improve the performance and better understand dynamics of the blend of international athletes, transfers from other programs, young and seasoned student-athletes. They asked SCI to provide additional tools to help optimize their performance.
To enrich our understanding of potential issues, we administered individual character assessments for every player, coach, and trainer. Character assessments provide us with a deeper understanding of an array of character qualities including energy levels; competitiveness; receptivity to new information; intellectual capacity; and interests. Specifically, detailed insights about needs for travel arrangements, cultural adaptation for foreign-born student-athletes, motivators, anti-motivators, core interests, optimal style of play, and much more.
Equipped with in-depth information from the assessments, we then met with each player and coach individually. We focused our discussions on how aspects of their character related to competition, conflict and education. Players walked away with a deeper understanding of self as well as a better understanding of how to alter circumstances around their pre-competition and competition to improve their performance. Coaches walked away with a deeper understanding of self. With the coaches, we shared strategies for optimizing everyone’s performance on the practice field as well as during tournaments. It became clear that a sub-group of athletes had unique character types that required an adjustment of some core routines in order to maximize their performance.
The emphasis was on providing tools for the coaching staff to be able to adapt existing routines in order to ensure optimal performance on and off the field. In addition, SCI provided ongoing support should any issues arise. The foundation for success was well-established through this process.