Jonathan Niednagel is a sport scientist, who has pioneered one of the most advanced sports evaluation and improvement technology “Brain Typing” (www.braintypes.com). He consults for pro teams and athletes in the United States, especially in the NBA, NFL, and MLB. He is the author of the book “Your Key to Sports Success”, where he identifies and describes the Brain Types for over 20 sports.
After realizing that these inborn proclivities were not a result of the water we drank or the upbringing (or coaching) we had, I surmised in the early 1980s that these innate “wirings” had to be genetically based. One needn’t be a rocket scientist for such deduction. Genome research was quite primitive in those days so exploring this possibility had to wait. Yet brain research and neuroscience were dramatically on the upswing, with high-tech PET scans and other metabolic mappings revealing cerebral functions never before understood. Thus, I began exploring how the brain regulates our cognitive, motor and visual processes, and during this past decade, the influence of genetics on these physiological functions. The massive Human Genome Project’s first major hurdle was finally accomplished in 2003, identifying roughly 30,000 human genes. The race is now on for identifying which human functions these individual genes actually regulate.
The fields of neuroscience and genetics are finally shedding abundant light on how and why the body (including brain) operates as it does. For the first time in human history, long-awaited answers are forthcoming. We are finally leaving the Dark Ages of human understanding. Over the past decades, I have attempted to make a connection between typology, one small dimension of psychology, a soft science, and the fields of genetics and neuroscience, which are soundly entrenched among the hard sciences. Marvelously, it is all coming together.
Relating all this to athletics, I began to share my surprising and helpful findings with a few professional athletes in the late 1970’s. It wasn’t long before they began employing them in their respective sports and telling others.
So what does all this mean to you? Whether a team owner, general manager, coach, parent, or athlete, you can now learn to identify and optimally develop these inborn designs or Brain Type in yourself and others.
Assuredly, understanding inborn characteristics – mentally, physically, and spatially – is the future direction of sports. It provides an unparalleled advantage.
Brain Typing is relevant for every dimension of life, including business and family. As long as one is attempting to understand, persuade, or communicate with others, there is no better way.
Before I tell you the key to success for Bird and Stockton, let’s consider only one aspect of the 16 inborn designs. Four of these makeups specialize in the top region of the brain’s primary motor cortex-which masters gross motor skills-the large muscle groups (Magic Johnson is in this category). Another four Brain Types (including Michael Jordan) excel in the adjacent descending area of the motor cortex-regulating hand-eye coordination. The next four genetic Types (including Tiger Woods and Dirk Nowitski) have the potential to expertly coordinate both large and small muscles. The remaining four Brain Types are innately “least” gifted in the motor cortex – especially regulating the gross motors – yet they are the most proficient with the strategic skills of the cerebral cortex (including hockey goalie Dominik Hasek). This knowledge of the various cerebral distinctions is helpful in beginning to comprehend why the different athletes perform as they do.
Brain Typing not only can help an aspiring athlete choose the best sport(s) for him and her, but it can help to develop one’s game in an optimal manner. The key to sports success is practicing and improving based upon one’s personal makeup, mentally and physically. Brain Typing enables the athlete to know exactly how he or she is wired and how to perform best under the greatest of pressures.
Now to Bird and Jordan. Their inborn design is described by one of Brain Typing’s 16 acronyms: BEIR. “B” represents a genetic predisposition for the Back of the brain where deep concentration and intensity reside as opposed to the front’s active and energetic state, which minimizes contemplation. “E” stands for Empirical-relying on sight and observation instead of concepts and theory. “I” signifies the Inanimate world which is more interested in logic, systems, and things than relating to people, pursuing harmony, or trusting feelings. Lastly, “R” equates to the Right brain, the hemisphere adept at peripheral vision and smooth, adaptable motor movements in contrast to the left hemisphere that specializes in tunnel vision and more mechanical, preplanned motor movements. Athletes born with the BEIR Brain Type can develop superior hand-eye coordination and athletic skills. This design is debatably the superior athlete in most sports.
Though each person’s upbringing and environment (past and current) influence his unique personality, the vast majority of BEIR’s are more reserved and quiet due to their genetic imprint. They also have the potential to develop the consummate spatial logic, as well as competitive intensity of all 16 Brain Types. (Infamous boxer Mike Tyson also possesses the BEIR wiring.)
Larry Bird and John Stockton would never have achieved their NBA greatness had they not inherited the BEIR wiring. Yes, some other Brain Types can achieve pro basketball stardom, but the BEIR has proven to be the best. A few other recent greats of this design include Michael Jordan, Tracy McGrady, Shaquille O’Neal, Jason Kidd, and Allen Iverson.
Computer technology has ushered us into the 21st century, but genetic analysis is soon to reshape the world in which we live-even in sports. Until Brain Typing genetic identification is finalized, those I’ve trained and I will continue to rely on the empirical approach, carefully observing athletes and people and their innate mental and motor tendencies. Though it is presently possible to identify the different designs in even young children, the majority of my time is devoted to working with adults.
How did mankind develop these indelible and measurable designs, or Brain Types? After numerous years of consideration, my most educated guess suggests a Master Designer. It is my hope in the years ahead to help those around the globe to better understand these unique designs and how to get the most out of life in light of this enlightening and liberating knowledge.