Hinson tests personalities to enhance coaching

Hinson tests personalities to enhance coaching

By Aaron Graff

SIU men’s basketball players took more tests at the beginning of the school year than the classroom had to offer them.

The Saluki players took personality exams and discovered what type of learners they are. With that knowledge, the coaching staff and teammates can communicate more effectively.

Caitlin Wood, a career counselor in the College of Business, distributed the tests and explained the results to coach Barry Hinson.


“It is looking at your preferences on four different scales basically,” Wood said. “It’s basically showing how you generally approach the world.”

Hinson said Wood explained some of the different personalities to him and told him he would struggle with introverted players.

“An extrovert might talk out loud and think out loud and seem more engaged than an introvert, who is processing internally, but is still paying attention and doing it in a different way,” Wood said.

Hinson said five of the 14 players are introverts.

“The biggest thing with personality test is when the lady came in and talked to us about what’s the best way to coach this type of personality,” Hinson said. “My question was, ‘Can you get this type of personality to do this?’ My assistants started laughing and said, ‘No coach, you can’t change a leopard’s spots.'”

Hinson said he accepted that certain character traits of a player cannot be changed, so he coaches around them.

“I’m old school when it comes down to foundations,” Hinson said. “Play hard, play together, play smart. To me, those never change. I mean they’re the cornerstones in the foundation of a solid basketball program.”


Redshirt freshman guard K.C Goodwin said the personality exam and learning test have definitely helped the team.

“Different people learn different ways,” Goodwin said. “If you’re a kinesthetic learner, [the coaches will] go out and explain the play to you. If you’re a visual learner they’ll probably do the same thing.”

Wood recommends personality tests for everyone in a workplace environment. She said it boosts the chemistry between coworkers, and has a direct translation with sports.

“It can help with teamwork in terms of figuring out how different players work best,” Wood said. “Sometimes if people have different personality types, they might misunderstand someone else’s intentions.”

Hinson said while he was the head coach at Missouri State, all the coaches took the exam. He said when he came to SIU, he was more worried about working on the basics.

He said the exams are something that will make the team better, and he is learning and adjusting, just as the players are. He reflected on his rant last season after a loss to Murray State, but accepts his personality.

“I’d like to understand me better,” Hinson said. “I would like to know why after a Murray State game, a guy like me would do something like I did last year. I pretty much know the answers to it, because part of it has to be that [I’m] half an idiot. That’s okay. At least I know myself.”

Aaron Graff can be contacted at [email protected], on Twitter @Aarongraff_DE or 536-3311 ext. 269