Tomorrow’s Leaders are using the GPS
Last week, the Sports Division at EPSI had the opportunity to meet three gifted young football players. Before beginning their first year of midget football (age 16-18), these athletes from Vancouver travelled to the Nation’s Capital for a special Football-specific training with Rise Athlete. Throughout their program they had the opportunity to work on three key aspects of their sport. The first one is the physical training, specific for speed, strength and agility. The other two aspects pertain to the mental elements of their sport. They were able to concentrate on the position-specific skills, tactics and plays as well as on their own personal attitude and personality. This is where the results of the General Profiler for Sports (GPS) were useful.
At this age, most athletes don’t realize which personal characteristics can help or worsen their athletic performance. Furthermore, they may have a difficult time identifying their strengths and weaknesses and knowing who they are as athletes and how their personality can affect their performance, their teammates and the final outcome of the game. By knowing these elements, they are in a better position to react appropriately to different situations (i.e., during the final minutes of a game or even playing in an unfamiliar environment). Hopefully, with the help of their coaches and trainers, the athletes will be able to find ways to improve on their abilities and reinforce the ones they already have.
For us, it was a pleasure working with athletes who want to learn and are dedicated to their sport and to improving their abilities. We would like to thank the three athletes that have participated in this evaluation as well as Anthony Brown from Rise Athlete who has supported our evaluation tool for the development of future leaders.
GPS at Various Levels of the Game
The Sports Division here at EPSI is proud to have had the opportunity to promote its expertise on the air with the Team 1200 radio station on Saturday, July 7, 2012 as a part of their Grecosize show hosted by Tony Greco and Steve Warne. The two experts of the firm invited to participate on the show were Franco Maimone, Director of Consulting Services and Business Development, and Isabelle Giroux, Assessment and Evaluation Consultant, who had the privilege of discussing the usefulness of the General Profiler for Sports (GPS) assessment tool.
They were therefore able to discuss their recent experience of the use of the GPS during the evaluation of the up and coming athletes for the 2012 NHL recruitment for the Ottawa Senators organization. This experience was very successful and will certainly permit other renowned major sports organizations to consider, with much interest, the use of such a tool to maximize the performance of their up and coming athletes.
Moreover, they also discussed the fact that the GPS can be very useful for amateur athletes in development who wish to improve their approach and attitude towards various aspects of their athletic performance. In fact, following the results obtained by the GPS, an athlete will obtain information on his personal characteristics and will therefore be in order to determine what he could improve on or what he needs to work harder. The GPS is also a tool useful for fitness specialists. As well, the coaches at Greco Lean and Fit use it to better understand what motivates their athletes. In so doing, they can adjust their approach so as to benefit the athletes and as a result, offer a more complete service.
The personal factors of athletes found in the GPS are also aspects that can assist the fitness specialists. Therefore, while keeping in mind the physical performance, the coaches can specifically chose certain exercises aiming to improve the attitude as well as the behavior of the athlete. For example, an athlete who does not have confidence in his abilities could tend to get discouraged when he does not attain his targeted objectives. It is at that moment that the GPS comes in to play, to identify the objectives, and evaluate how well the coach can support the athlete in his development.
Therefore, a tool such as the GPS should be strongly considered to help an athlete reach new heights and ultimately perform at his fullest potential. Click here to listen to Grecosize on Team 1200.
Is the Draft really important?
When author Stephen J. Dubner, co author of the wildly popular pop-economic books Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics wrote a blog on February 17, 2012 arguing that selecting players in the draft is more luck than skill (What can Linsanity teach us about the upcoming NFL draft?) my coworkers and I were immediately intrigued!
Being familiar with his writing style from his previous books, we were excited to see what data Mr. Dubner would present to support his theory that selecting players in a draft is all luck. This was interesting as franchises in all major sports continue to increasingly invest time, effort and money to bolster their scouting and recruitment activities.
In his blog and in his video, Mr. Dubner uses data presented by Cade Massey and Richard Thaler of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Their research included analyzing the average draft position of the top five players this season in key NFL football categories, as well as other studies regarding drafting and performance in the NFL. It is using this and other data from Massey and Thaler that Mr. Dubner concludes that the draft is no more than a “crapshoot than most of its practitioners would have us think.”
While the information presented was compelling, we believe that what should have been also analyzed was what type of evaluation did each of these potential draft picks go through to help teams identify the best available player in the draft? Having worked with major sports franchises and their scouting departments the manner in which each potential draft pick is assessed, and what criteria is being assessed, varies greatly from one team to another.
We at EPSI and Compmetrica believe that are the four major components to a successful or elite athlete; Physical Abilities, Talent, Effort and Personal Characteristics. What all sports franchises have in common is that they assess their potential draft picks for the first three, but ignore what might be the difference maker, Personal Characteristics. How many times have we heard that an athlete had all of the talent and physical abilities in the world, but just could not put it all together when on the field? Or how about the gifted athlete who succumbed whenever they were under pressure?
Although personal characteristics are often cited as the reason why certain draft picks did not materialize into the players everyone thought they would be, still today many franchises are not evaluating the mental attributes of their players. Assessing for personality, which is important for drafting and in player development, is crucial as it will be an indicator as to the time, type of approach and effort you will need to take to develop a specific player. For example, if a player demonstrates low self-confidence, it might be a good idea to bring them along slowly and subject them to stressful game conditions on an intermittent basis as this will allow them to slowly build their self-confidence.
We think that a tool such as our General Profiler for Sports (GPS) which focuses on assessing beyond the physical aspects of an athlete, can dramatically improve the chances that a draft pick will be successful in choosing the right player and then knowing how to develop them. Our question to you the reader is: if scouting departments in all of major sports assess this important fourth factor, Personal Characteristics when evaluating a potential draft pick, do you believe they would have a higher rate of success?
Director, Consulting Services and Business Development
EPSI gets invited to the NHL Home Ice SiriusXM Satellite Radio show, “ Hockey This Morning.”
EPSI was delighted at being asked by the popular SiriusXM Radio show “Hockey This Morning” hosted by Mike Ross and Mick Kern on the NHL Home Ice channel, to come in and talk about our sports test, the General Profiler for Sports (GPS). So on October 25, 2011 André Durivage, President of EPSI and myself, Franco Maimone, Director at EPSI participated in two segments of this prominent and interesting show.
When we showed up in studio, we were immediately made to feel at ease by Mike Ross as well as producer Bruce Bolton. Besides their welcoming approach, what impressed us very much was the high level of interest they showed in our sports profiler and the familiarity they had with our test and its applications. While in the past people have taken a keen interest in who has used our profiler and what the results were, this show went above and beyond the superficial and really wanted to understand how the GPS works. They even went as far as having Mike Ross take the test and then asking us to interpret his results on the air without knowing what they were in advance.
We had a great time in the studio and I would encourage you to listen to the audio file attached to learn more about our test, how it is used and which prominent organizations have used it. At the same time, I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone at “Hockey This Morning” for inviting us on air. We were impressed by the hosts and producer of the show, their high level of professionalism and the great content they put out on a regular basis.
We are already looking forward to our next visit. Click on one of the links below to hear the show!
Radio Clip GPS Part 1
Radio Clip GPS Part 2
Director, Consulting Services and Business Development
GPS, New Member of the National Team!
This year EPSI is venturing into the world of sport with our new test the General Profiler for Sports. Baseball Canada’s women’s team is among the first premiere teams to incorporate the GPS as part of their recruitment and development programs. With support from André Lachance, the team’s head Coach and Operations Manager at Baseball Canada, the GPS was used in many steps of the strategic recruitment and development program implementation.
The process was easily put into place given the GPS’s administration accessibility on Compmetrica’s Online Platform. This meant that athletes located across Canada could be accommodated and complete the test at home when most convenient for them. Individual reports were provided to Mr. Lachance in addition to professional feedback and interpretation. The GPS team report was also generated; helping the organization obtain a global view of the team and its future.
In a sport that is mostly male dominated, it’s important to well understand the different challenges and motivations that female athletes might tend towards. Using the GPS to identify key motivational factors and characteristics provides useful information for trainers and coaches so they can ensure that their training methods are the most effective. Although the ultimate goal of any sport team at this level is to win, in this team, these women are motivated by the experiences and a desire to overcome personal challenges.
Baseball Canada is definitely in the game in terms of ensuring that their athletes are enriched both physically and mentally; making it a winning organization overall. EPSI is very proud to be contributing to the development of this national team, and we wish them a fantastic season!
Ottawa Senators: Brawn AND Brains
“Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision.
Since the development of our General Profiler for Sports (GPS), EPSI has been fortunate enough to work with amazing amateur and elite sports organizations, Canadian national sports programs, and university level athletes. In the summer of 2011, we were honoured to be able to provide the NHL’s Ottawa Senators hockey club with an additional tool to give them an edge in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
As part of their overall evaluation of potential picks for the Draft, the Ottawa Senators scouting staff saw the added benefit of assessing their prospect’s sport personality profiles. Using EPSI’s GPS, scouts and senior executives were able to gain insight into key elements of their prospect’s personalities, motivational factors, and other crucial information such as their problem-solving skills and perceptual speed. Essentially, they were able to go beyond the prospects’ physical qualities and delve into their minds; better identifying a strategic fit within the team, and which prospects have what it takes to bring themselves and their team to the next level. This new step was put in place to compliment the already stringent player assessment and drafting process employed by the team’s ardent scouting staff.
To gather this information, the Ottawa Senators invited prospects to Scotiabank Place for an evaluation session with the help of EPSI’s Sports Division. One of our EPSI administrators and EPSI IT experts were present in order to explain the GPS to the prospects and to ensure that the testing environment met with psychometric best practices.
Following the test administration we had the opportunity, in conjunction with EPSI’s president André Durivage, PhD to present the prospects’ GPS results to the Ottawa Senator’s scouting department and senior management team. Using the easy to interpret GPS reports we were able to provide detailed information in regard to each of the prospects’ motivational factors, personal characteristics, and values. These elements provided an overview of the prospects’ mental strengths and weaknesses; crucial information in the quest to choose the right player for the organization.
An athlete’s physical capabilities, talent, and personal investment/effort are vital elements to look at when assessing an athlete for future performance, however; you can’t underestimate the mental aspect and problem solving thought processes required to be a great athlete. As Wayne Gretzky said “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”
Here at EPSI, we’d like to wish the Ottawa Senators all the best for the upcoming 2011-2012 NHL season, with the development of their young players and with their recent draft picks!
GRECO: Helping Athletes Develop Their Body & Mind
Tony Greco, one of Canada’s leading fitness specialists and founder of Greco Lean and Fit, has been one of the GPS’s proud supporters from the very beginning. Tony and his team firmly believe in the GPS and have continuously administered the test to gain a better understanding of their athletes in order to better guide them in their personal and professional development. To become a truly great athlete, you need to know what your strengths and weaknesses are and be willing work diligently on what needs to be improved. Tony Greco and his team work with elite athletes and professionals such as Dan Boyle of the San Jose Sharks, Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers and Mike Fisher of the Nashville Predators and have surrounded these athletes with the best possible resources in order to constantly push their performances to new levels. They also train some of the elite prospects in various sports such as football, soccer, tennis and martial arts. To find out more about Greco’s Fitness and Training Centers, please click here
Claude Giroux: A Rising Hockey Star Stops by EPSI
Hockey, known as a physical and fast paced game, also requires that players have a certain edge and attitude on the ice. Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers is always in pursuit of finding different ways to improve his game. Renowned for his sleek hands and play making abilities, Claude has always been interested in the mental aspect of the game and came to EPSI to assess if there were aspects of his sports personality profile that he can exploit in order to gain that extra advantage. The Ottawa resident came back during the off season and during his preparation for the upcoming season, was assessed by EPSI using their sports personality profile, the GPS (the General Profiler for Sports). Completing the GPS at EPSI allowed Claude Giroux to instantly view his results and ultimately have a better understanding of the mental aspect of his game through an in-depth feedback session with one of the experts in EPSI’s Sports Division.
NCAA 6th Annual Conference
EPSI was ecstatic at being granted exclusive access to present their new sports-related test, the General Profiler for Sports (GPS) at the NCAA’s 6th Annual Conference. The Conference took place in San Antonio, Texas and what a privilege it was to be with this event! As a fan of college sports (especially football), it was an amazing experience for me to be part of this gathering of representatives from top Division 1, 2 and 3 sports programs across the United States. Along with my sports-savvy colleagues Isabelle Giroux and Mathieu Durivage, we spent three days talking sports with like-minded individuals across the United States. Can you find a better way to spend three days at work?
What made this experience even more worthwhile was the feedback we got from presenting the GPS to representatives from successful sports programs. While we have already gotten great feedback from athletes and representatives from sports organizations that we have administered the test to, the three days spent at the NCAA gathering really validated for us all of the hard work we put into the development of the GPS. This project has been in the works for the last 18 months and we have just now begun the marketing phase of our new assessment tools.
Fortunately, this experience did not end once we left San Antonio. One of the most surprising benefits of attending this conference was the great relationships we forged with other exhibitors at the conference. As veteran exhibitors of this show, they befriended us from the moment we arrived and were kind enough to give us tips and tricks on how to take full advantage of this experience. Still today, we maintain contact with them and have extended the invitation to visit us in Montreal or Gatineau at their earliest convenience!
We’re also currently in discussion with representatives from sports programs we met at the show. While they have already determined the benefits of using the GPS, conversations are now focused on at what point in the season the test should be administered and the manner in which feedback will be provided. While we have just begun approaching Division 1, 2 and 3 sports programs in the United States, in the very short time we have begun marketing the GPS in Canada; we already have commitments from team trainers in Ottawa, an NHL team to test their prospects, Octagon Sports Agency and local colleges. We also just recently met with Olympic sports organizations who have committed to using the GPS with their national team this summer.
Given these encouraging events, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for the GPS!