Unscientific methods some sports coaches use (Part 2)

Brain Gym

Brain Gym consists of a series of simple movements, such as touching your right heel with your left hand and then your left heel with your right hand, or placing a thumb and index finger of one hand on either side of the chest bone, while the other hand rubs the stomach. The goal of these movements is to develop coordination and make movements more flexible and efficient.

Advocates of this method believe that performing these movements enhance motivation, concentration and focus.

All of these results could, potentially, benefit athletes. But the evidence for these claims is vague.

Myers-Briggs type indicator

Many sports coaches use Myers-Briggs, a questionnaire that evaluate personality type, to decide whether to hire an athlete for their team or programme.

Coaches also use Myers-Briggs to assist them understand how their players act and make decisions, so they can communicate and coach more effectively with their athletes or players.

Although the technique is famous, some experts have expressed concerns about it. The most obvious problem is that it classifies people into categories of introvert or extrovert. But this approach is too simple and hardly can fully capture the complexity of personality.

Since personality is relatively stable throughout a person’s life, a person’s “indicator” should be the same if the questionnaire is completed by the same person through time. Yet studies show that Myers-Briggs indicators can be changed, which raises questions about whether its reliability.


ActionTypes is a mix of learning styles, practices to increase the brain and movement styles that are similar to Brain Gym.

This method is favored by high-profile advocates, including elite sports coaches who say it assists them to understand their players better and allows players to understand their own bodies. But since information about this approach is difficult to come by, and there have been no published research, ActionTypes is not a credible method for coaches.